One of MBC’s most popular variety shows “Infinity Challenge” has recently been accused of being to “loud and vulgar” by the Korea Broadcasting and Communications Review Committee (KCC) and got a temporary warning. However, the Korean National Parliament (KNP) argues that the KCC is being too harsh.
On September 27, the minister of the Culture and Tourist department (Jun Byung Hun) has made a statement through a national audit press release and commented the following, “‘The KCC has given ‘Infinity Challenge’ nine administrative sanctions since its launching in 2008. That means that the organization gives the program an average of three sanctions per year. Their way of seeing the program differs very much with the ‘good’ image the program has gotten from its loyal viewers.
He especially thinks that the “maintaining dignity” part of the rules is too strict, but also ambiguous. According to Article 27 of the Broadcast Review Regulations, the broadcasting must (1) maintain dignity and respect towards its viewers and (2) may not expose viewers to vulgar and hateful expressions. However, according to Jun Byung Hun, these rules were supposed to be applied to news and current affairs news channels only.
The KCC started with the complaint against HaHa’s “I will not die” T-shirt and continued to complain against several other behaviors of the members. For instance, the fact that the “Infinity Challenge” members fart and sometimes run around in their boxers and slap each other on the butt is a major offense according to the KCC. Also expressions like, “Hey, you are a crazy bastard” is a big no-no.
According to minister Jung, it is too difficult to be focusing on every little detail. He also comments that, “‘Infinity Challenge’ is one the most popular variety shows. I understand that some choice of words and subtitles may be offensive. However, giving out three sanctions per year is just plain abuse of power.”