“How Do You Play?” Responds To Criticism Regarding Suggestion For Lee Hyori’s New Girl Group Stage Name

MBC’s “How Do You Play?” has issued a statement in response to criticism from Chinese viewers regarding a suggestion for Lee Hyori’s stage name for the project girl group “Refund Expedition.”

The episode that aired on August 22 showed Lee Hyori having a one-on-one meeting with producer Jimmy Yoo (Yoo Jae Suk) about the project girl group she is setting up with Uhm Jung Hwa, Jessi, and MAMAMOO’s Hwasa.

During their conversation, Lee Hyori shared that she hadn’t come up with a stage name yet. She said, “How about a Chinese name, since we could go global? How about ‘Mao’?” In response to this, Chinese viewers of the show expressed their discontent as the name was reminiscent of Mao Zedong.

The show released an official statement on August 24 that reads as follows:

Hello, this is the staff of “How Do You Play?”

We were made aware of the fact that some international viewers felt uncomfortable with the name “Mao” that came up while choosing Lee Hyori’s stage name during the episode that aired on August 22.

Although we had no intention of alluding to the specific individual mentioned in people’s concerns, we have edited out that part of the program from VOD replay services to stop any more misunderstandings from forming.

Also, Lee Hyori has chosen a different stage name for her character.

We will work hard to be more sensitive and careful in the future.

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– 안녕하세요. <놀면 뭐하니?> 제작진입니다. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ 지난 8월 22일 방송 중, 출연자인 이효리 씨가 활동명을 정하는 과정에서 언급한 ‘마오’와 관련해 일부 해외 시청자분들이 불편함을 느꼈다는 내용을 접하게 되었습니다. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ 보내주시는 우려처럼 특정 인물을 뜻하는 의도는 전혀 없었으며 더 이상의 오해를 막기 위해 어제부터 제공되는 유료 서비스에서는 해당 내용을 편집했습니다. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ 또한 이효리 씨의 최종 부캐명은 다른 이름으로 정해진 상태입니다. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ 제작진은 앞으로 보다 세심하고 신중하게 방송을 만들겠습니다.

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article reported that Yoo Jae Suk suggested the name. This has been corrected. 

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