On February 13, the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) broadcast review sub-committee held a plenary session and requested a content rating change for SBS’s “Return.”
The subcommittee pointed out that although “Return” was rated suitable for audience ages 15 years and above, the show’s brutal and unethical scenes were broadcast without being censored. KCSC requested these scenes to be removed during the re-run.
Within the first two episodes, the drama featured a scene where a group of men, who were partying, hit a woman on the head with a glass cup as a form of punishment; thereafter, resolving the situation with money. This scene alone violated five broadcasting regulation acts and the broadcasting review panel reached a consensus to request for legal sanction and adjustment of audience rating.
In view of this, EP (Executive Producer) Park Young Soo apologized and explained, “The drama’s focus is to pinpoint loopholes within the law and the portrayal of revenge towards villains. I portrayed the characteristics common to villains that fit this genre and I am deeply reflecting on the fact that this portrayal could be seen as excessive use of violence or suggestive content. I will be more careful and pay closer attention in future.”
When asked on whether he will be removing excessive violent or suggestive scenes during the re-run, he mentioned, “We will try to remove as much of these scenes as we can.”
Questions were raised on whether suggestive scenes were used to garner high ratings, to which the EP explained, “The scenes were not used to garner higher ratings. If it was to increase viewership, I think it is only right that I remove the scenes that would make viewers feel uncomfortable.”
EP Park added, “The number of violent scenes will be greatly reduced starting next week. I will make continuous effort to lower the intensity of the depictions.”
The broadcast review subcommittee has voted in favor of issuing a warning that corresponds to legal sanctions and the adjustment of content ratings for “Return.” KCSC will reach a final decision by the next plenary session.