Infectiously healthful and initially pitched because the more healthy different to the upcoming Squid Sport: The Problem, it appeared that Netflix’s Bodily: 100 was a actuality TV unicorn. Within the weeks following its rise to worldwide success, turning contestants like Jang Eun-sil, Choo Sung-hoon, and Yung Sung-bin into Web royalty, the blemishes on an in any other case good facade have begun to point out. The next controversies vary from allegations of manipulated outcomes to precise crime.
One of many first contestants to talk publicly in regards to the present was actress and former idol trainee Elaine Wong, whose feedback generated headlines and YouTube thumbnails portray a disastrous image. “Behind the scenes,” she advised AsiaOne in early February, simply two weeks after the premiere, “there’s an ambulance each 20 to half-hour, choosing up [contestants] and going off.” The entire of the interview is definitely lighthearted in tone, and he or she doesn’t remorse the expertise nor her eventual loss to pink-haired Shim Eu-ddeum within the Demise Match problem. At the least two of the accidents sustained in that problem had been depicted on the present, together with an elbow to the face and fractured ribs.
What wasn’t proven was the lasting injury from the very first problem, the Pre-Quest, the place all 100 contestants hung onto steel bars. UDT teacher Kim Kyeong-baek received the primary spherical, however his arms had been paralyzed for 2 months. With any type of bodily problem, one would hope that the manufacturing workforce is taking the correct security precautions. In 2014, situations within the Korean movie trade had been so unhealthy as to be worthy of worldwide scrutiny. That was, nevertheless, lengthy earlier than the large inflow of funding from Netflix, which can have introduced the wanted reform. Then once more, Squid Sport: The Problem.
Unnamed Contestants Accused of Assault
On February 23, the Seoul Gangnam Police Station obtained a report that one of many contestants — as but unnamed — assaulted his girlfriend, they usually subsequently booked him for questioning. A distinct contestant is going through prices for making threats in opposition to his girlfriend, with studies alleging bodily abuse.
A share of any group of 100 will turn into, let’s say, questionable characters, however the reputation of Bodily: 100 owes largely to the overall air of camaraderie among the many contestants. A far cry from American actuality TV, these health club rats and meatheads had been all the time bowing to 1 one other and cheering one another on. Whereas these particular person incidents can’t presumably replicate on all 100, it’s all the time disappointing when the folks we root for on tv aren’t who we thought they had been.
Kim Da-young Bullying Scandal
One of many standouts of Bodily: 100 was teeny-tiny stuntwoman Kim Da-young, whose head for security was instrumental to her workforce’s win on the Transferring Sand problem. After being accused of bullying her classmates in center college, she posted an apology on February 24, admitting to verbal abuse however denying the extra claims of bodily violence. Now, this can be surprising to American viewers, who’ve by no means heard of a star being canceled for “bullying” or any wrongdoing dedicated as a toddler (howdy, Mark Wahlberg), however it is a frequent incidence within the hallyu world, even described by NBC Information in 2021 as a “#MeToo-style reckoning.” Title a Ok-drama or Ok-pop group, and chances are high there’s somebody who’s been caught up in this sort of scandal. Within the case of the actor Kim Ji Soo, the accusations had been sufficient that he was dropped by his expertise company and changed within the present River The place the Moon Rises. Alternatively, the allegation in opposition to Apink’s Chorong prompted a defamation lawsuit.
2023 is a hell of a time to be accused of bullying, given one other Korean present’s reputation on Netflix, The Glory, which can counsel why there’s a distinction between American and Korean perceptions of college bullying. The Ok-drama’s brutal violence relies on a real-world incident, as described by The Korea Instances: “In Might 2006, a bunch of freshmen at a center college in Cheong-ju, North Chungcheong Province, abused a fellow pupil utilizing a hair iron and clothes pins. Asking the sufferer to ‘test whether or not the iron is scorching sufficient,’ the abusers burned the flesh of the sufferer who was later hospitalized consequently.”
It’s tempting and even affordable to characterize the issue of college violence as a microcosm of larger Korean society, which is like Bert Cooper’s fantastic watch wound tight, all the time ticking. “Sounds extra like a bomb!” South Korea has the very best suicide charge amongst developed nations, and for younger folks, it’s the stress of competitors at school and the workforce. As international trainer Ciaran Maguire noticed within the nation, “It’s a worry of an unstable life that strives my college students to get up at 6 a.m., examine all day and clock off at midnight, each day.” A shortcut to get forward, to seem sturdy, could also be to show that others are weak. For much too many, it might appear, there’s a proverbial money prize all the time at stake. What of the actual ones, then?
Rigged Finale Allegation
That is an accusation as previous as actuality TV itself, presumably circumvented in every case if not for the time period “actuality.” The ultimate two contestants of Bodily: 100, Jung Hae-min and Woo Jin-young, competed in an occasion the place every participant needed to pull rope out of a seemingly infinite spool. As made worldwide by TikTok person @krealitylover on February 26, an unbiased South Korean paper, Ilyo Shinmun, reported that this problem was filmed thrice. In accordance with the person, “For the primary time they filmed, Jung Hae-min … was in an enormous lead. However Woo Jin-young raised his palms and stated that there was a problem along with his machine.” After the manufacturing workers indicators off on the gear, the match resumes with Hae-min as soon as extra taking the lead. Filming halts once more, this time for ‘an audio subject.’”
Regardless of the damage-control statements made by distributors Netflix and MBC, the rumor grew to become a conflagration: Bodily: 100’s winner, Woo Jin-young, stopped the competitors when it was clear he was about to lose. On February 28, Hae-min himself testified to the 2 stoppages. Jin-young made a public assertion afterward March 4, denying that he requested a stoppage within the first place. “It’s not true that I raised my hand and stopped the match.”
A press convention that includes Jin-young was canceled (for this and the opposite controversies), and even fellow contestant Ma Solar-ho was attacked on-line for having uploaded a YouTube video that includes Jin-young. Unlucky in itself, it’s additionally an eerie recreation of an incident that befell on the 1988 Olympics, the place the Korean boxer who received a gold medal was heckled on the podium, criticized within the media, and publicly insulted — by Koreans. Park Si-hun’s fellow countrymen didn’t consider he deserved the medal, they usually let him know. Within the ensuing years, the athlete battled despair and suicidal ideas, and by no means boxed once more. Some issues, it might seem, haven’t modified. We simply have the Web now.
There’s a negligible distinction between the winner of Bodily: 100 and each different contestant, particularly the runner-up. Whether or not supposed or not, essentially the most profound takeaway from the present is that there isn’t a one true measure of power. No matter glory afforded to the person winner is simply icing on the cake of getting carried out nicely, which a majority of the contestants had carried out. Woo Jin-young carried out nicely, as did Hae-min. If hypothetically set in opposition to one another within the rope problem once more, it’s understood that both is the seemingly victor. The controversy solely reinforces this, mockingly compounding the present’s themes whereas apparently satisfying nobody.