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"Uncomfortable jokes without editing... Entertainment shows that feed off 'cast controversy' [D: Broadcasting View]

[Dailyan = Reporter Jang Su-Jung] Should the audience know in excessive detail about Kim Jun-ho and his partner Kim Ji-min's private lives? How long will the past story of Yoon Yeo-jung, who has already received global acclaim for her acting, be used as broadcasting material by her ex-husband Cho Young-nam? Despite the audience's criticism of "uncomfortable," uncomfortable comments from the participants continue to be aired. There are problems with the participants, but responsibility is also growing towards the producers who are trying to raise interest in the program by using such superficial tactics.

On the SBS entertainment program 'Take Off Your Shoes and Single Foreman' (hereinafter 'Single Foreman'), which aired on the 25th of last month, an unexpected question followed while the MC and participants were discussing dating experiences: "Have you ever kissed?"

Despite the absurdity of the childish question, Kim Jun-ho boasted, "I did it yesterday." Yang Se-hyung pointed out, "Sister Jimin might not like this story," and Kim Jun-ho replied, "What's wrong with being in an open relationship?" prompting laughter. There were criticisms like, 'Do we really need to watch such personal stories being joked about on TV?' However, in recent episodes, Kim Ji-min was directly invited to expose Kim Jun-ho's lie, and they continued with 'only their' enjoyable conversation.

Cho Young-nam mentioned his ex-wife, actress Yoon Yeo-jung, on tvN's story 'People for the Chairman,' saying "I became a painter after being kicked out by Yeo-jung" and "Yeo-jung became a world-renowned actress as she was chasing me out (while acting)." Fellow cast member Kim Su-mi told him to stop talking about Yeo-jung on the show.

Kim Jun-ho and Cho Young-nam subsequently faced criticism. Among the viewers' comments, the most significant one was about 'repetition.' Many criticized them for telling meaningless and unfunny stories. As a result, the criticism is directed not only at the cast members but also at the production staff. Despite having the ability to filter through editing, there are concerns that the production staff is ignoring it.

Some criticize the production team for intentionally capturing conversations that aren't contextually important and generating predictable controversy, saying, "At this point, it's noise marketing."

But this isn't just a problem with two shows. Shows like 'I'm Single' and the 'Heart Signal' series that cover the romance of ordinary people are no different. Even if the controversies aren't about personal lives, participants often receive malicious comments from viewers for behaving rashly.

Programs like KBS2's 'Walking into Madness' and 'Househusband 2,' which cover celebrity families, are similar. There are frequent examples of criticism against cast members for excessive remarks while portraying conflicts. Creating 'villains' or 'hate characters' to generate interest or stimulating fun is a familiar tactic in entertainment shows.

While some netizens' malicious comments toward participants are problematic, production teams need to realize that such tactics are no longer appealing to viewers. Positive changes are happening even in audition programs, which were representative of the "stimulation equals success" formula. JTBC's 'Peak Time,' which focused on the quality of the stage rather than emphasizing fierce competition among already debuted idols, received praise for being a good example of a 'kind audition.' Conversely, if conflicts are overly highlighted during competition, suspicions of 'devil's editing' arise. With viewers' attitudes maturing, entertainment relying on cast controversies seems more and more outdated.

Nam Gyu-Hong, the PD of 'I'm Single,' said in a recent live broadcast regarding the repeated controversies: "I always feel that we need to be very careful with editing. I feel sorry from the producer's point of view." "I always feel that there are many things to be careful about as the program repeats. We should not only blame those who write malicious or good comments but also need to make the show with more control." Like his words, some entertainment production teams need to recognize that cast controversy can soon become their fault.


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