Korean TV Show “I Live Alone” Under Massive Fire For Crossing The Line With “Pranking” Webtoonist Kian84

“It’s not okay for a group of people to make one person feel this way.”

The latest episode of I Live Alone continues to receive intense backlash from the viewers after webtoonist Kian84 is shown expressing great disappointment over his countryside party.

Webtoonist Kian84 | NEWS1

The cast of I Live Alone agreed to throw an “end of an era” party for Kian84 to congratulate his successful completion of the last episode of his webtoon—which he has been publishing weekly for the past 10 years. The episode showed how the cast members, like comedian Park Na Rae and SHINee‘s Key, had previously promised to go on a trip with Kian84 in celebration.

“I Live Alone” members promising Kian84 a party in a previous episode. | MBC

On the day of the trip, Kian84 excitedly got in the car with TV personality Jun Hyun Moo and headed to the webtoonist’s hometown of Yeoju city. During the drive to the destination, Kian84 revealed that he prepared a bunch of fun outdoor activities for the cast members. He looked forward to these activities “building stronger friendships.”

When asked who’s coming, Jun Hyun Moo assured Kian84 that the two of them will meet up with the rest of the cast at the destination—setting up the webtoonist to believe that the group trip is really happening.

Kian84 looking excited in the car ride to Yeoju. | MBC

Unfortunately, after the two arrived in Yeoju—and Kian84 had shown off the matching t-shirts that he handmade for the members—Jun Hyun Moo revealed that the members are actually not coming.

When Kian84 dropped radio silent in shock, Jun Hyun Moo claimed that he came “on behalf of everyone else.”

Kian84 looking disappointed after Jun Hyun Moo breaks the news. | MBC

Eventually, Kian84 came to accept Jun Hyun Moo’s explanation that the trip had been “sized down” to the two of them due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in Korea. In a separate interview, however, Kian84 expressed his utter disappointment at what happened.

“…no one was going to show up.” | MBC

It didn’t even cross my mind that they might not show up at all… The group trips on I Live Alone have always been incredibly fun for me. So I really believed that we’d make a lot of memories on this one too. I was looking forward to this trip… so it broke my heart to learn that no one was going to show up. It felt like I came on a field trip by myself with the teacher.

— Kian84

After the episode aired — and assuming that no one actually shows up throughout the trip based on what’s shown in next week’s teaser — viewers pointed out that this “prank has definitely crossed the line” and is even inappropriate to show on television.

“He must’ve been so disappointed,” said Key. | MBC

In fact, some viewers heavily criticized the producers and cast members for “practically bullying” Kian84. One netizen commented, “This reminded me of the time when I got bullied the same way. I clenched the remote control so hard…”

| theqoo
  • “I don’t even like Kian84 but I can tell this is definitely wrong. This went way over the line. It’s not okay for a group of people to make one person feel this way.”
  • “This is so mean.”
  • “How terrible. I can’t believe they didn’t tell him, but instead, they decided to prank him about it. I honestly can’t tell which part of this episode I’m supposed to find ‘funny’ at all. Why is this on television?”
  • “I feel like this sh*t show has gone down the drain…It’s the production team that is literally screwing over the whole show.”
  • “Wowee… I would have burst into tears. Why didn’t they tell him about it?!”
  • “OMG… Regardless of how I feel about Kian84 personally, I think this has gone way over the line. I would’ve bawled my eyes out on camera.”
  • “I’m actually so dumbfounded that the production team decided to air this as is… Did no one stop to think and say this is wrong? Use your brains, people.”

Other viewers went on to point out how harsh pranks like this would have an unimaginably detrimental impact on Kian84—as he has previously shared via a different episode that he is actively battling ADHD, panic, and anxiety disorders.

Kian84 saying, “I’ve been getting medical help on the regular for the panic disorder I’ve had for 4 years” on a previous episode of “I Live Alone.” | MBC

Shortly after the heated criticism online, I Live Alone clips for the said episode got removed from YouTube and other video-streaming platforms. Neither the production nor the casts have spoken about the situation with Kian84—but the concerns continue to grow and viewers demand an official apology from the production and cast be offered to Kian84.

| Nate Pann

Uhm, why did you delete the video? I JUST watched the clip that showed Jun Hyun Moo breaking it to Kian84 that Park Na Rae and Key won’t be coming. It got deleted within minutes, I see. It honestly baffles me how this channel simply removes a video that goes controversial online.

Also, if the trip had to be canceled because of COVID-19, then shouldn’t the studio shoot also have been canceled? I can’t even imagine how many people are packed into that studio to shoot. I’m almost sure that an outdoor activity in the countryside would have been much safer for the cast. Don’t make excuses that are obviously unreasonable. It doesn’t justify anything.

— Highly Liked Viewer Comment

Meanwhile, Kian84 did get a surprise party from his fellow webtoonist friends Joo Ho Min, Lee Mal Nyeon, and Kim Poong. The YouTube video from a different show captured Kian84 smiling at a personalized cake, congratulating him on wrapping up a decade of publishing.

| Mdromeda Studio/YouTube

This video continues to see a flood of comments thanking Kian84’s friends for the genuine celebration—especially after the I Live Alone clips in question went missing.

Source: Hankook Ilbo and THEQOO (1) and (2)