The Korea Herald


‘His Man’ to return with season 2

Wavve launches new season of popular gay dating show despite opposition from anti-LGBTQ+ groups

By Lee Si-jin

Published : June 7, 2023 - 16:21

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A screenshot shows a gay couple in a pottery studio in A screenshot shows a gay couple in a pottery studio in "His Man 1." (Wavve)

Local streaming service Wavve on Tuesday confirmed the return of its popular reality dating show “His Man” with a second season.

“His Man,” which premiered in July 2022, was South Korea’s first gay dating reality show.

The 11-part series initially caught many viewers’ attention with its cast of gay male participants, the first ever in a dating reality show. As their romances developed, the couples' stories were seen as more real and sincere than any other Korean dating reality shows.

“His Man Season 1” contributed the most to Wavve’s increase in paid subscribers and unique visitors after its premiere in 2022, according to the streamer.

The show also ranked No. 3 on the weekly rankings of the most popular non-TV dramas during the last week of August 2022, when the program came to an end, local analytics firm Good Data Corp. said.

A total of eight cast members with unique stories will be featured in the upcoming season, ranging from: a singer-songwriter with an Ivy League education, a DJ, a university student, the former lover of a cast member from “His Man Season 1” and more.

Though mainstream Korean TV shows featuring LGBTQ+ couples might have been nearly impossible to find a few years ago, local streamers have started releasing more and more LGBTQ+-themed content.

Korean streaming platform Watcha has garnered enthusiastic responses with “BL,” or “boys’ love,” drama projects, like “To My Star” (2021) and “Semantic Error” (2022).

Wavve also released a LGBTQ+ romance reality show, “Merry Queer,” in 2022, which tells the stories of sexual minorities as they come out.

The logo for reality dating show The logo for reality dating show "His Man 2" (Wavve)

While South Korea's creative content sector has made strides on LGBTQ+ issues, negative biases against sexual minorities remain, particularly among conservative groups.

Conservative Christian groups promoting anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, including the National Coalition Against the Harmful Discrimination Act for True Equality and Anti-Homosexuality Christian Solidarity, protested at Wavve’s headquarters in August 2022, criticizing the streaming service for what they claimed amounted to exploiting such issues to make content go viral.

These groups called on Wavve to delete LGBTQ+-themed content, arguing that it could be used to "mislead" viewers.

Meanwhile, the organizers of Seoul's annual Queer Culture Festival announced Wednesday that this year's parade will be held in the Euljiro neighborhood in July. This is the first change in venue in eight years, after the Seoul Metropolitan Government refused to give permission for the event to be held in its usual location of Seoul Plaza.

The first two episodes of “His Man 2” are scheduled to be released June 23.

"His Man 2" will be available on Wavve, iQiyi and Rakuten Viki.