Preference Or Colorist? Netflix Korea Addresses “Single’s Inferno” Skin Color Controversy

The show previously faced backlash for repeatedly mentioning “white skin.”

Netflix‘s Single’s Inferno has been seeing success like no other, as the dating reality series continues to dominate in real-time searches. As the program reigns in popularity, however, it has also seen its share of issues following its finale, such as contestant Ji A‘s knock-off controversy, Oh Jin Taek‘s emoji controversy, and Kim Hyun Joong‘s Instagram controversy.

“Single’s Inferno” contestant, Oh Jin Taek was previously met with backlash after using black-skinned emojis on his Instagram | Netflix

But there was one that took over headlines even before the dating program skyrocketed to popularity regarding Shin Ji Yeon‘s skin color—and Netflix Korea has officially addressed this issue.

“Single’s Inferno” contestant, Shin Ji Yeon | Netflix

On January 19, Netflix Korea held an online meeting to introduce its 2022 upcoming program lineups for the streaming platform. With Vice President Kang Dong Han in tow, the announcements of the new productions began. However, it was during his time at the online meeting that the Vice President addressed the previous controversy involving Single’s Inferno contestant Shin Ji Yeon and the male contestants comments about her skin color.

Contestant Moon Se Hoon talking about Shin Ji Yeon’s “light” skin color | Netflix

Previously, male contestant Moon Se Hoon enraged international viewers of the hit reality show with what they alleged were “colorist” remarks. The problematic comment was made in the premiere episode when Shin Ji Yeon was meeting the other contestants for the first time. As she sat down amongst the other cast members, an audible segment of Moon Se Hoon’s interview was laid over—and it was here that he made a comment about Shin Ji Yeon’s skin color.

Male contestant Moon Se Hoon’s comment about Shin Ji Yeon | Netflix

Moon Se Hoon wasn’t the only male contestant who commented on Shin Ji Yeon’s “white” complexion, but Choi Si Hun also shared his thoughts about her light skin tone. He admitted that he had a “light skin” preference when it came to women.

Contestant Choi Si Hun also taking about Shin Ji Yeon’s “light skin” | Netflix

In South Korea, having fair skin is one of the many beauty standards amongst the nation, between both males and females. The subject of having fair complexion is a common conversation topic and it’s normal to talk about it amongst one another. Many beauty retailers in the country heavily market sunscreen, whitening, and other products that caters towards having “light skin” that’s highly coveted by the population.

Actress Jun Ji Hyun used as the advertisement model for a sunscreen brand | Hera

For international viewers who may not be familiar with Korean beauty standards, however, the male contestants’ comments equating “white” and “light skin” to a form of beauty were taken into a different context, as accusations of colorism began to form.

Majority of the “Single’s Inferno” contestants had noticeably fairer skin than most.

While the controversy was not addressed at the time, Netflix Korea’s Vice President decided to speak up on the colorist accusations during the recent 2022 online meeting.

Vice President Kang Dong Han commented on the allegations by admitting that there are numerous cultural differences that may be “okay in South Korea, but not okay in other countries.”

If you think about it, it hasn’t been too long since Netflix began streaming worldwide. Something may be okay in South Korea, but not okay in other countries. And of course there are countless instances where it’s the opposite as well.

— Netflix Korea’s Vice President Kang Dong Han

Netflix Korea’s Vice President, Kang Dong Han | Netflix

Kang Dong Han continued his statement by sharing that the controversy is the exact reason why it’s important to “[study] humanities,” while reiterating how serious he takes such allegations.

This is why studying humanities is so necessary. It is incredibly important and I do take it very seriously. Sometimes, we [Netflix Korea] do the translations, subtitles, and dubbing ourselves. Other times, we do collaborate with third-party companies.

I see this all as a learning opportunity to become even better and am soaking it in with a humble attitude.

— Netflix Korea’s Vice President Kang Dong Han

In related news, Netflix Korea announced their plans to launch a total of 25 original productions on the streaming platform during their 2022 online meeting. Glitch featuring Jeon Yeo BinLee Dong Hwi, and NanaDelivery Knight featuring Kim Woo Bin and Lee SomLove and Leashes featuring Girls’ Generation‘s Seo HyunSeoul Vibe featuring Yoo Ah In and Go Kyung Pyo, and more are on the exciting list of the upcoming original productions.

Source: Naver News

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