SBS‘s longest-running variety program Running Man is being criticized for allegedly bullying member Ji Suk Jin.
In the November 13 episode, the members took part in a race where they had to navigate through Seoul without using navigation. On this day, Yoo Jae Suk was seen driving confidently, stating that he knew the streets of Seoul well. Ji Suk Jin sat in the passenger seat with a map of Seoul.
When it comes to Seoul, trust me.
— Yoo Jae Suk
As soon as the members began the race, Ji Suk Jin yelled for the car to turn right, however, Yoo Jae suk asked Ji Suk Jin to, “Just stay put.” When Ji Suk Jin, once again, advised to, “Go straight into the tunnel,” Yoo Jae Suk, once again chastised his partner and asked him to be quiet.
Hyung, just stay still. All you have to do is just fall asleep and when you hear ‘We’ve arrived,’ reply, ‘Oh, really?’
— Yoo Jae suk
In another instance, where Ji Suk Jin advised Yoo Jae Suk on directions, Kim Jong Kook replied, “Suk Jin hyung, just put the map down.” Song Ji Hyo chimed in, saying, “Oppa just sleep.”
Once the members realized they had been going in the wrong direction, Ji Suk Jin stated, “I told you we should have gone straight.” Kim Jong Kook then replied, “We will go straight. Why are you getting so mad?” Yang Se Chan, who had been watching the scenario asked, “Why is everyone ganging up on Ji Suk Jin?” The program then captioned the scene stating how Ji Suk Jin was again being ganged up on.
Today, Ji Suk Jin is again fighting 6 to 1.
— Running Man caption
The members would continue teasing Ji Suk Jin, which has become a regular trope on the show. So much so, that Running Man has even uploaded several video on their YouTube consisting of edits from the show in which Ji Suk Jin is teased by the other members.
Netizens gathered in an online community where they expressed their discomfort with the trope. Many netizens stated that, especially since the show is watched by children, that the trope should be discontinued.
- “The biggest problem is that children will watch and learn. Students will go around teasing just one person.”
- “A lot of children watch the show… If kids say, ‘This is what they do it on Running Man,’ we have nothing to say. It’s disappointing as I really like this show.”
- “If audiences feel that way, then it is problematic. I feel bad for him (Ji Suk Jin).”
- “Yoo Jae Suk needs to stop teasing Ji Suk Jin, and Kim Jong Kook needs to stop acting like a gangster. They definitely crossed a line, and it really upset me.”
- “I don’t watch Running Man, but just looking at articles, it seems the show is problematic. I really hate this type of comedy. They say that they are joking when ganging up on someone, but they are really just going around teasing him.”
- “I haven’t watched Yoo Jae Suk and those friends for a couple of years.”
What are your thoughts?