“Running Man” Apologizes For Plagiarizing Webtoon In Recent Episode

SBS’s “Running Man” was criticized for plagiarizing webtoon “Money Game” (literal translation) in its latest episode.

In the April 28 episode of “Running Man,” the cast members took part in a race in which they were put into a studio and given money to spend as a group. They each had individual rooms, and once nine hours were up, they could divide the remaining money equally among themselves.

Webtoon “Money Game” tells the story of participants in a game where they are required to live in a studio for 100 days and are jointly given a sum of money. All necessities must be bought with the money, and at the end of 100 days, the money that remains is divided and given to the participants equally.

After the recent “Running Man” episode aired, many fans of the webtoon pointed out similarities between the race and the webtoon.

Writer Bae Jin Soo of “Money Game” expressed, “The concept and the way the story unfolds are so similar that I was taken aback. I had not been notified by SBS at all. For this webtoon, I spent long hours coming up with a concept and story that no one has ever thought of, and I’m upset that it was used in a popular variety show without my permission.”

A source from Naver Webtoon, the platform in which the webtoon is published, also stated, “‘Money Game’ is being published serially as a popular webtoon with a unique and novel story. Moreover, a movie was confirmed to be made based on the webtoon. The writer [of the webtoon] and the creators of the movie were all greatly inconvenienced by the the concept and story being copied and broadcasted on a variety show. We are considering taking legal action to protect the writer’s copyright, which is a fundamental right for writers.”

In response, the producers of “Running Man” apologized in an official statement. Below is the full statement:

It was brought up that the race in the first half of “The Return of Yoo-mes Bond – The Man of 100 Million Won” from the April 28 broadcast of SBS’s “Running Man” was similar in structure to Naver Webtoon’s “Money Game.” SBS’s “Running Man” referred to writer Bae Jin Soo’s “Money Game” and modified [the idea]. The producers are fans of “Money Game,” and we thought the concept of the webtoon was suitable for “Running Man,” so we referred to the webtoon when constructing the race. We deeply apologize for not asking Naver Webtoon and writer Bae Jin Soo for consent in advance.

A source from “Running Man” also added, “The producers said they will call both sides and relay their apologies. However, discussion is still needed regarding the additional issues such as legal ones. We are discussing with them so that it can be resolved amicably.”

Watch the latest episode of “Running Man” below:

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