Following the controversy over the violent games, Running Man was criticized by the netizens for their unsanitary games.
In the Running Man’s episode aired on August 15, a game in which the members had to protect their queens, Song Ji Hyo and Jeon So Min, was played. The members had to put the strong-smelling food or objects under their helmets. The odors of the food and object were from durian, stingray fish, onion and garlic, and Yang Se Chan’s socks.
While playing the game, Yang Se Chan’s socks dropped out from Ji Suk Jin’s helmet and touched his mouth. The second person to touch Yang Se Chan’s socks was Song Ji Hyo. As a result, Ji Suk Jin and Song Ji Hyo shuddered; they expressed displeasure and complaints. In addition, other members had to suffer from the bad smell of durians and stingray fish. In the end, the thing that gave the viewers the feeling of discomfort was Yang Se Chan’s socks because the cast once pointed out that Yang Se Chan had smelly feet.
In addition, the previous episode aired on August 8 was also mentioned. The members wore T-shirts with some circles drawn on their shirts. They had to eat jajangmyeon with their eyes being blindfolded. The game rule said they would receive the prize depending on the area of the circles that the noodles splattered. As a result, the members tried to splat the noodles on their T-shirts in order to earn points. They exaggerated their actions to the point that their faces and clothes were covered in noodles after the game. Viewers raised discussions against the game and said it was unhygienic to scatter the food like that.
Some people said the games were just for entertaining purposes. However, netizens criticized Running Man for being a popular show but did not guarantee sanitary regulations. Not only did they create unsanitary games, Running Man once caused controversies by holding a violent game in which the member had to put rubber bands on their faces.
With continuous controversies, people are questioning whether Running Man is still suitable to be a national entertainment program.