The MBC’s viewer committee member who mentioned Lovelyz Mi-joo, a member of “Hangout With Yoo”, as a “sexy pretty airhead” recently apologized to her.
According to the minutes of the Viewer Committee held on September 24th, a member of the committee, Kim Yoon-mi of a pictures production agency, mentioned Mi-joo of “Hangout with Yoo”. At that meeting, Kim pointed out, “I was fine before, but as I talked a lot about gender sensitivity and start to converse with younger people more, when I watch “Hangout with Yoo”, I’m worried that Mi-joo’s character will often be seen as only a sexy and pretty airhead.”
Referring to Yoo Jae-seok and Mi-joo’s constant combination on other channels, he said, “Is it necessary for them to bring and repeat their characters from somewhere else onto MBC’s flagship entertainment program “Hangout with Yoo” because it’s comfortable for the cast? I think it’s a disappointing guest combination for MBC to take, “ he criticized. Jeon Jin-soo, head of MBC’s entertainment planning center, replied, “You are worried that Mi-joo is seen as a pretty airhead, but we didn’t cast her because we needed such a character.” “We decided to cast Mi-joo because she is interesting as an entertainer, her interaction with Yoo Jae-suk is good, and gender-equal as well.”
When the remarks were made public, many online communities start to criticize Kim’s comments. Many netizens said, “Mi-joo works hard and is fun to watch,” “I neven think of her as a pretty airhead,” “I hope Mi-joo doesn’t read the article and get hurt,” showing their disapproval with Kim’s remarks.
On Nov 10th, as the controversy continued, Kim expressed his regret during a phone call with Media Today, saying that he had no intention of criticizing or attacking any individual. He explained that the viewer committee is an organization that gives advice to MBC and he participated in hope that he could help improve MBC’s contents. He said, “I did not mean to discourage the freedom of expression, I was just trying to say that “Hangout with Yoo” should be careful with how they develop the image of female casts.”
In addition, Kim said, “As my remarks were recorded in writing, the context of the conversation was omitted or not properly included. It was not my intention to personally attack Mi-joo. I apologize to her for being offensive,” he apologized again.