Shockwaves were sent around the nation as news of a woman committing suicide during the recording of a popular dating show “Jjak” (or “Match/Couple”) hit the media.
The woman was a contestant on the show and was discovered dead in the female contestants’ lodging room. The police has been investigating the other contestants as well as the staff members.
On March 5, the Seogwipo Police revealed that the woman (Ms. Jeon, age 29) was found dead in the bathroom. She was discovered by another female contestant and a producer.
The other contestants were having dinner at around 8PM on this day on the first floor. After dinner was over, they realized that Ms. Jeon was not present. So a female contestant went up to the second floor to look for Ms. Jeon, when she found Ms. Jeon with a hair dryer cord around her neck.
It is said that there was a doctor among the male contestants and he attempted CPR on Ms. Jeon but she pronounced dead even before she was moved to the hospital.
Ms. Jeon left a suicide note tha read, “Mom, Dad, I’m so sorry. I have nothing else to say but that. It’s really hard. I don’t want to live anymore. Tears keep coming. I want to end my variety-like life right here. I’m so sorry.”
She continued, “After coming here, the staff cared for me a lot. So I’m really thankful. But it’s just so hard right now. All of you, whom I have loved. I’m sorry to all of you. I’m so sorry. And thank you.”
The police are currently looking into this suicide as an act of personal pessimism and are investigating everyone on the show. Sources have also reported that Ms. Jeon suffered from depression and was treated in the past, which the police are looking into as well.
The Seogwipo police case director commented, “We did not find any signs of coercion or foul play on the film set. Ms. Jeon was discovered in the bathroom with the door locked. We are presuming that Ms. Jeon took her own life.”
Around 40 people, including seven male contestants, five female contestants and the staff members, traveled to Jeju Island on February 27 to start filming. This happened right before the final decision of the contestants on the last day.
The “Jjak” staff released a statement on March 5 saying, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the contestants. We would like to offer our words of comfort to all of the contestants on the show for receiving such a deep scar and we will try our best to deal with this matter.”
The show also decided to give psychological treatment to all of the staff members and contestants. The show also announced its intentions to give whatever kind of compensation that Ms. Jeon’s family needs.
“Jjak” has been involved in several controversies in the past with issues such as blatant product placement, bad editing, questionable authenticity and rumors of contestant mistreatment by the staff. This recent happening is putting the show in danger of being cancelled.
The episode of “Jjak” that was supposed to air today had been replaced by a Brazil World Cup special friendly match between Russia and Armenia.