In a past Running Man episode…
… captured the members Jeon So Min, Song Ji Hyo, Yang Se Chan — along with the guests SEVENTEEN‘s Hoshi and Mingyu — participating in a “rubber band game” to win a bowl of ramen.
The game required players to place as many rubber bands around their faces as possible. The winner, with the most rubber band count, would be able to dig in first. Yang Se Chan went first, cautiously placing the rubber bands around his mouth.
Immediately, he claimed that “it hurts more that [he] thought.” The game continued with Song Ji Hyo…
… and Jeon So Min each taking their turns, looking miserable in pain.
Throughout the game, the members kept expressing shock at how the rubber bands apply a lot of pressure and dig into their skins.
It felt like my eyes were going to pop out…!
— Jeon So Min
Hoshi and Mingyu eventually played too, each placing 18 and 22 rubber bands around their faces.
After the episode aired, a large number of viewers became outraged by the “staff’s lack of concern for the safety of the members and guests.”
Many pointed out how “dangerous and reckless” the rubber band game had been, heavily criticizing that one wrong snap could have cost them their eyes.
The viewers shared their concerns for not only the members and guests, but also the younger viewers who watch the show. One viewer snapped:
Kids watch Running Man all the time. Does the production team even realize what hazardous trend they may have started? PLEASE GET YOURSELVES TOGETHER and make smart decisions. Remember you’re on national television. Remember you’re all over the internet. Remember children copy what they see. Remember the influence and the responsibility that comes with your show. FOR GOD’S SAKES!
With the following episode’s trailer showing Lee Kwang Soo also wrapped in rubber bands…
… viewers demanded that Running Man considers removing the game, to prevent any unwanted incidents on and off the show.