On February 27, 2020, the popular TV program The Return of Superman revealed on its YouTube channel separate teasers for the families currently cast on the show.
The Hammington family’s teaser got shared last…
… but according to netizens, this is actually an edited, thrice re-upload version — because the original included a scene that unintentionally captured a page from the show’s script that detailed what the children should be saying and doing.
Allegedly, the leaked script from the scene from the original teaser read:
This is what the script said, partly.
9:00AM – 12:00PM Will/Ben’s House
Ben: Ben Ben Ben~ Ben Ben Ben~
William, disappointed when Bentley doesn’t get how to play the game
Will: Oh no… This isn’t working…
Will: You’re not too good at this, baby.
Will, demonstrating how it’s done
Will: You have to say, ‘Mugunghwa flowers have bloomed!’
The Return of Superman first blurred the script and re-uploaded the video — only to delete it again and finally share a video that did not include the particular scene at all.
When the original got taken down and the second, then third version went up, those of whom have seen the script flooded the comment section, asking the program producers to clarify if William Hammington and Bentley Hammington are in fact being “coached” for what they need to say and do in front of the camera — and if the show is more “scripted” than the viewers believe.
- “I see the Hammingtons’ teaser got deleted and re-uploaded. But at 00:35, there was a script on top of the kitchen counter. First, it was blurred and shared again… but now the scene is entirely gone and re-uploaded. Please explain the script.”
- “I saw the script too. Everything the kids do, it is staged… I’m kind of shocked at how heavily scripted it is.”
- “Were you able to read what it said? I mean, it’s a TV show so I would assume some sort of a script is mandatory. But kids being kids, I would assume it would be really hard for them to follow a script.”
- “Yes, I was able to read but I don’t want to spoil the episode. I also understand that a show needs to have some sort of guideline — but I’ve come to believe that the writers set the children’s behavior and lines down to a T and have them act it out pretty closely.”
This quickly spread online, leaving netizens in a heated debate over whether The Return of Superman should be directing scripted episodes for young kids like the Hammingtons. While most viewers knew that TV programs come with scripts and somewhat staged episodes, some remain shocked by how detailed the “acting” is directed, even for the kids, in these episodes.
- “I mean, I figured they have some sort of a script… but can Bentley even follow directions at his age?”
- “What is there to explain? Some people have seen the script already.”
- “No wonder… The kids kept looking at the staff when they talked.”
- “I’m sure all the families have their own writers and stuff… Not only William and Bentley. And I’d assume the script is for the general flow of the episode. Kids would never follow the directions.”
- “That’s what the writers are being paid to do.”
- “I’ve actually seen how these episodes are shot. Since then, I’ve never watched a single episode of The Return of Superman.”
- “You know, William and Bentley are really cute. But I could tell they were staged. Since William got bigger, it became really obvious. They’re cute as they are. Why do they feel the need to give them scripted lines?”
- “It’s a TV show, guys. Of course it has a script… I doubt the staff are controlling what the kids have to say though.”
- “No, I’ve seen Daehan, Minguk, and Mansae filming at a ski resort before. The staff, or maybe the writers, are all over the kids making them act out the scene they want… Having seen that, The Return of Superman didn’t quite feel like it used to.”
- “I knew it. William began looking a little uncomfortable when he said things… like he would be looking at someone or something. I thought it looked unnatural.”
- “I mean, children actors all memorize their lines. Why would the kids on this show be any different?”
- “Scripts are mandatory though… And I mean the show is very obviously staged, isn’t it? I really don’t think the staff are forcing the kids to say things on the script.”
The production team of The Return of Superman is yet to respond to the stirring debate.