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KBS under fire for program on beleaguered actor Kim Seon-ho

A screenshot shows an ad featuring Kim Seon-ho that was taken down, then used again. (ASEADO)
A screenshot shows an ad featuring Kim Seon-ho that was taken down, then used again. (ASEADO)

Public broadcaster KBS has come under fire for what viewers say was unnecessary programming concerning the beleaguered actor Kim Seon-ho.

On Friday, “Entertainment Weekly Live,” an entertainment show covering pop culture figures and industry news, aired a segment on recent controversy surrounding the actor.

The segment dealt with the question of whether the actor, whose ex-girlfriend claimed he had urged her to have an abortion only to later dump her, could be in any legal hot water.

Many viewers felt the report was unnecessary as the actor had stepped down from the KBS variety show “2 Days & 1 Night” and his scenes had been edited out.

“The actor publicly apologized for his actions and Kim’s former girlfriend asked people to stop reproducing any additional unverified stories and to stop malicious media coverage. I cannot understand why the public broadcaster KBS is making offensive content that any YouTuber could make. I really don’t understand the purpose of airing the segment on Kim,” said an online petition posted to the KBS Audience Rights Center on Friday.

The online petition, which called on the broadcaster to stop airing the episode, had gathered 6,946 signatures as of Sunday.

While KBS is required to respond to petitions that gain more than 1,000 signatures in 30 days, the broadcaster has yet to respond.
A screenshot from the KBS Audience Rights Center shows how many viewers supported a petition opposing Kim’s withdrawal from “2 Days & 1 Night” and another demanding that the broadcaster stop airing the latest episode of “Entertainment Weekly Live.” (KBS)
A screenshot from the KBS Audience Rights Center shows how many viewers supported a petition opposing Kim’s withdrawal from “2 Days & 1 Night” and another demanding that the broadcaster stop airing the latest episode of “Entertainment Weekly Live.” (KBS)


The controversy surrounding Kim entered a new phase when the local media outlet Dispatch published a story Oct. 26 in which several people disputed the claims made by Kim’s former girlfriend and provided old chat messages that seemed to indicate concern about her condition.

Online, the debates continued. Someone claiming to have known Kim from college defended the actor and said he was not the sort of person who would force someone to have an abortion.

Another petition on KBS, this one opposing Kim’s withdrawal from the popular “2 Days & 1 Night,” had gained 41,871 signatures as of Sunday.

The face mask brand Miima, which had employed Kim as a model, reposted ads featuring the actor on its official website and YouTube channel days after withdrawing them.

Canon Korea, another brand that had taken down images of Kim from its social media accounts, made an ad featuring the actor visible again. It had been switched to private mode on Oct. 19, two days after the ex-girlfriend’s revelations.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
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