“Real Men: Female Soldier Edition” Responds to Sexual Harassment Accusations

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MBC’s popular Sunday night variety show “Real Men” is facing controversy after its September 6 broadcast.

“Real Men” is currently airing its “Female Soldier Edition 3” on its Sunday timeslot. It features trot singer Park Gyu Ri, comedian and actress Kim Hyun Sook, actresses Shin So Yul, Yoo Sun, Han Groo, and Han Chae Ah, rapper Jessi, singer Choi Yoojin of CLC, TV personality Sayuri, and former tennis player Jeon Mi Ra. On the most recent Sunday episode, MBC aired segments of Sayuri and Kim Hyun Sook talking about their instructor’s butt. Kim Hyun Suk described her instructor, staff sergeant Kwak Ji Soo, as “sexy” and depicted his butt as being “angry,” a euphemism for a firm butt. Sayuri also described the same thing about the instructor. In addition to the cast’s comments, “Real Men” producers added a computer graphic effect on the instructor’s butt, bringing even more attention to it.

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After the broadcast, many netizens voiced their objection, calling it sexual harassment. Kwak Ji Soo’s older sister also left a comment on the “Real Men” official website, saying, “As family, it felt strange and new to see my brother on TV, and I felt proud of my brother who is serving his country, but I was disappointed in MBC today.” She continued, “I understand it is a variety show, but for diminishing the morale among soldiers and creating a sexual issue, I think an apology is necessary. I was upset the whole time while watching the broadcast with my family. Because of this, I am rethinking the level of our nation’s broadcast.”

In response, PD Kim Ming Jong of “Real Men,” spoke to news outlets, apologizing for the September 6 broadcast of the show. PD Kim explained that it wasn’t the fault of the cast, but the fault of the staff of the show. He said that the cast didn’t expect that what they shared after a long day would go out on broadcast. While he expressed surprise that the broadcast was seen as so problematic, he did promise to be more careful in the future and apologized to those who were made uncomfortable but the show.

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Update (September 8 KST):

MBC has announced that it will be editing out the offending scenes from any rebroadcast and pay-per-view versions of the episode.

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