State broadcaster KBS blurred remarks related to feminism written by a high school student on a show, saying the action was taken to abide by the principles of a public broadcaster.
“The Golden Bell Challenge” is a weekly quiz show that features a group of high school students who hold up whiteboards with answers on them in front of the camera.
The participating students often decorate the remaining empty space of the whiteboards with various phrases alluding to their aspirations or love for their family and friends.
In Sunday’s 908th episode, a student’s whiteboard was partly blurred, which received additional attention as she was the last student remaining.
Screenshot of a student’s blurred whiteboard (KBS)
After the episode aired, the student posted on her social media account, “I wrote ‘Same crime, same penalty’ and ‘Abolish abortion ban.’ But they were blurred.”
The post went viral, sparking criticism over the network’s censorship of the student’s opinion, as the program had previously aired statements by other students found to be misogynistic without blurring them.
The production team responded Tuesday, issuing an official statement.
“A public broadcaster has to abide by the rule to ‘not to broadcast one side’s opinion unilaterally on a deeply divisive political, religious or cultural issue,’” the statement read.
“Also we have been notifying participants to avoid writing comments that are not related to the program’s objective, as we are concerned about the damage that a teenage participant may face in such arguments.”
After the news surfaced, the student became the subject of online bullying, with some verbally attacking her for her opinion. Her social media account has been shut down.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org