MBC Officially Apologizes For Disrespectful and Offensive Portrayal Of Islam

Viewers are furious at MBC’s second offense since 2017.

South Korean MBC Channel apologized on its official social media pages for insensitivity, after an episode of On the Border caused outrage among the viewers.

On the Border is a mildly educational travel-based TV program that shows comedian Kim Gu Ra, actress Lee Si Young, and popular online history instructor Seol Min Seok bring guests on to the show and travel together to countries bordering each other.


The show has received some attention for its informative content. In the recent “Jordan-Israel Episode” as the program called it, however, the On the Border production team deeply offended the viewers by presenting the content without researching thoroughly.

Covered by the emoji is a picture of Prophet Muhammad, right beside the Korean word that reads “Islam”. This infuriated the viewers. They also found the flag on top of the Dome of Rock Masjid in the bottom left hand corner to be highly offensive as well.


Hashtag #withMBCApologize began trending, as the upset viewers pointed out every disrespectful detail that aired with the episode.


MBC released an official apology statement in Korean, English, and Arabic languages. The apologies have been posted to the channel’s Twitter and other social media pages.

“This is MBC <On the Border> production team. Some images in the <Jordan-Israel episode>, primarily intended to enhance understanding on various religions, were found out to be inappropriate. We received many comments about “picture image used for Islam’s Prophet, Muhammad” and “usage of a certain national flag on the Dome of the Rock”. We deeply apologize for causing offend to Muslims and other audiences. <On the Border> was produced in order to examine the history and culture of two adjacent countries with impartial point of view. Following <U.S–Mexico episode> and <France–Germany episode>, we hope to approach the two countries’ history and culture without prejudice in <Jordan-Israel episode> as well. We will be more cautious to check and pay attention to the most detailed parts as well as the overall context, so that audiences of different cultural backgrounds do not feel offended. Once again, we express our sincere apologies. Thank you for your attention.” — MBC Channel


These apologetic “letters”, however, are not being too well received either.


As mentioned in the tweets, this is not the first time MBC channel received criticism for its insensitivity toward different religions and cultures. In 2017, the channel went through a very similar situation of offending its Muslim viewer pool with the K-Drama Man Who Dies To Live.

When the controversy grew, MBC aired an apology within an episode and explained everything is fictional.


Only a year since Man Who Dies To Live, MBC Channel is apologizing again for On the Border. Global viewers are not impressed.

Source: Chosun News (1) and (2)