The Korea Herald


‘Physical: 100’ creators deny manipulation in final match

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : March 9, 2023 - 17:07

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A scene from A scene from "Physical: 100" (Netflix)

The production team of the Netflix show “Physical: 100” disclosed the original video recordings of the show's final match and emphasized that “there was no manipulation of the results.”

The reality survival program, which aimed to find the fittest among 100 contestants, crowned CrossFit athlete and snowboarder Woo Jin-yong as the winner after the final “rope pulling” match against Olympic cyclist Jung Hae-min on Feb. 21.

However, controversy arose when runner-up Jung, speaking with a local media outlet, said that the finale had to be suspended twice and that his request to air the rematches was ignored.

Director Jang Ho-gi explained how the final match had been suspended twice, during a press conference held at the MBC headquarters in Mapo-gu, Seoul, on Thursday.

“An unexpected noise problem occurred and the production team officially requested a halt due to safety issues for the contestants,” said Jang. “It is not true that Woo requested the first game to be stopped by raising his hand.”

In the original video shown to reporters Thursday, a loud noise of the rope being pulled could be heard one minute into the game and continued for about 9 minutes. The production team then announced that the game would be briefly stopped.

“A huge, frictional noise which hadn't been heard in simulations continued for a long time. We didn’t want to stop the game and interfere but the level of noise reached a point where we deemed that we could not use the recording and that this could be an indicator of a potential accident,” said Jang.

The video showed the game resume and after just 26 seconds, Woo’s rope got twisted inside the trolley and is completely stopped. The whistle was blown to let Jung know the game was stopped.

“We judged that the accident was unrelated to the performers’ talent and requested an immediate stop.”

A scene from A scene from "Physical: 100" (Netflix)

Jang explained that the trolley was designed to require extreme endurance and mental strength by pulling an infinite rope, whose length was not disclosed to the contestants.

He continued, “each situation was explained to both contestants and the way to resume the matches were negotiated and agreed upon by the two athletes.”

“I would like to say once again that our production team did not do any unfair manipulation to affect the match,” said Jang.

“We apologize to Woo and Jung, and other participants and viewers for such unexpected incidents.”

Jang said he hopes to meet the two contestants in person and apologize to resolve the misunderstanding.