Provocative TV content sparks controversy
By Grace Kim
Television programs are increasingly leaning towards provocative content involving ordinary citizens instead of celebrities, reported Yonhap News on July 15.
“Chatter with Kim Won-hee,” a cable TV talk show, aired an episode on the topic of “older husband vs. younger husband” on April 7 which received a warning from Korea Communication Standards Commission for overly suggestive content.
The ordinary women who appeared on the 15-rated show talked about their sexual lives with their husbands, revealing, “we do it day and night—the evidence is our child” and “I’m 20 years older but I have enough stamina.”
The trend towards sensational topics is, in part, fueled by TV shows casting ordinary citizens rather than celebrities. “Star King,” where participants show off their skills, “Martian Virus” and “Martian X-Files,” shows that invite guests with bizarre habits, “Good Morning Talk Show” and “Jjak,” a matchmaking reality show, are some examples that are currently on air.
Unlike celebrities who have to worry about their image, ordinary guests can be honest and candid, claimed the broadcasting staff. “TV shows that star non-celebrities have limitless topics to choose from,” said Lee Ye-ji, the producer of “Good Morning Talk Show,” of KBS.
These shows, however, invite guests with provocative stories to boost their ratings and compete with celebrity-studded programs. “Lingerie girl,” who wears revealing clothes year-round, appeared on “Martian Virus” in a plunge neckline top and a garter belt on May 1.
“I would have pulled the zipper farther down if the show was rated R,” said “lingerie girl” about her top on the 15-rated show.
“Good Morning Talk Show” invited a guest who shared her story about her father who teaches sex education when he gets drunk. The guest said she has been watching X-rated movies with her parents since she was seven.
“There needs to be a safeguard put in place so that ordinary guests are not treated like disposables for TV shows,” said Jeong Deok-hyun, a pop-culture critic.
The producers of these TV shows ask viewers to pay attention to the flow of the stories instead of raising controversies over specific guests. “Ordinary guests are vulnerable to the media,” explained Lee.