Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo were announced to be leaving Running Man earlier today. Now, reports are being made that the two were forced out of the show without any heads up.
Earlier today, we reported that Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo would be leaving Running Man. The reason for the change was that Running Man would be coming back with a new style and format in 2017.
In the original articles released, it seemed that both Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo were both involved in the decision for them to leave. Kim Jong Kook has his solo activities and group activities with Turbo which he would concentrate on. Song Ji Hyo did not give reasons for leaving, although some media assumed it was due to her busy acting schedule.
Now, reports are being made that the two were caught off-guard when they were asked to leave the show. Song Ji Hyo did not even know she was being removed from the show until after media reported on it.
Song Ji Hyo’s agency revealed in a statement:
“We knew Running Man would go through changes from SBS but it is true that we only found out from news reports which members would not be invited back. We do not want to comment on Song Ji Hyo’s feelings but it is not our official stance that it was not a good farewell.
There is a definite road she needed to walk as an actress and considered leaving the show so it [seemed] natural to leave the show during the season-change. However, it is true there was a lack of active communication from the production crew in the steps leading up to Song Ji Hyo leaving the show. There is a lot of regret emotionally but as it is the production’s decision, we will humbly accept it.”
Kim Jong Kook’s agency revealed:
“It is true that we were told about Kim Jong Kook leaving the show one-sidedly. It is regrettable. Even though Kim Jongkook was not in the best health condition, it was a program he really cared for and took part in.”
Daily Sports also looked into this incident and found out the following:
“2 weeks ago there was talks of a change in formatting and the co-producer visited the set to mention it again. There was still no talks of member changes back then. However, on December 12th they called in Kim Jong Kook to tell him he was out. Song Ji Hyo only found out today after reports came out. It’s true everyone knew that a change was in order due to the fact that the ratings were going low but this type of good bye doesn’t only hurt the producers it wounds the artists as well.“
Song Ji Hyo was only alerted that she would no longer be part of Running Man the night the reports came out. Kim Jong Kook was told there may be some changes to the show 3 weeks before the report was released, but was also not updated since then.