Netflix‘s Single’s Inferno once again has viewers enthralled with the show’s second season, which is still currently airing. The hit Korean dating show features attractive, charming single men and women who meet on an island to try and find love.
But even amidst the show’s popularity and sizzling romances, Single’s Inferno isn’t devoid of criticism. In fact, many of the contestants themselves have been subject to controversy. And now some fans of the show are calling out other viewers for misogynistic comments.
Since the show feels almost like a real-life K-Drama, viewers, of course, flock to their favorite social media to talk to other fans about their favorite contestants and pairings.
Kyuhyun captured my every emotion watching Single's Inferno Season 2 pic.twitter.com/anuyamyv7o
— Golden (@netflixgolden) January 3, 2023
As with any reality show, multiple members of the season one cast have warned viewers against “evil editing,” in which the show’s producers either heavily edit scenes to create more intense situations or remove contextual scenes entirely. Both season one contestants, Kim Hyun Joong and Moon Se Hoon opened up about the hate from viewers they received because of the “evil editing.”
During filming, I dislocated my shoulder and was struggling with other bad health issues overall. Because of those reasons, some of my facial expressions and statements that I said were taken out of context, which is a shame. I shed some tears because of it
— Kim Hyun Joong
Nevertheless, as they aren’t privy to any of the scenes not included in the released episode, viewers of the show only have the aired episodes to help them form their opinions. While many of these opinions are positive, like the opinions about Single’s Inferno 2‘s dubbed “green flag,” Kim Se Jun, other contestants have continually been subjected to criticism from viewers.
For instance, in the first season, viewers had immense criticism for Moon Se Hoon, whose focus on pursuing only one female contestant was deemed “creepy” and even “dangerous” by fans.
In the second season, contestants also have come under fire from viewers for their behavior. Viewers didn’t hesitate to dub Shin Dong Woo “unworthy” of fan-favorite Nadine. Nor did they hold back in criticizing Joo Yoong Jae for teaming up against Choi Jong Woo or calling out Lim Min Su for “shady behavior” toward Nadine.
But some viewers are alleging a pattern of misogyny in the criticism given to popular female contestants, specifically season one’s Song Ji A (also known as Free Zia) and season two’s Shin Seul Ki.
In season one, Song Ji A was clearly the most popular contestant among the male contestants on the island.
And while Ji A did receive support from many viewers who loved her honest, cool attitude and elegant visuals…
There were also viewers who found her unsympathetic. One YouTuber explained that for French viewers of the show, contestants like An Yea Won and Kang So Yeon were extremely popular for their personalities.
These two [Yea Won and So Yeon] were the most liked contestants by probably 90% of the population.
But in stark contrast, they “did not like Ji A at all.” Many attributed Ji A’s popularity to “pretty privilege” and didn’t think she had “a good personality or any charm.”
Ji A controls people with her pretty visuals. She doesn’t really have a good personality or any charm, but three of the male contestants followed her around like puppies. She has pretty privilege.
— Unknown French Twitter user
With the show’s second season currently airing, some viewers are calling out what they see as similar treatment contestant Shin Seul Ki is receiving from other viewers. Like Ji A, Seul Ki is one of the most popular contestants among male contestants on the show. Currently, Kim Jin Young, Choi Jong Woo, and Shin Dong Woo all seem actively interested in pursuing her, while Seul Ki seems torn between the first two.
While some viewers of the show have been vocal in finding Seul Ki’s scenes predictable and “boring,” often calling her a “pick-me girl” for her actions toward the male contestants…
nadine and sejeong carrying this mid show with bare minimum screentime meanwhile seulki’s annoying boring ass gets 30 minutes an episode #SinglesInferno2Ep6 #SinglesInferno2
— zoey ᵕ̈ (@thvstreets) December 29, 2022
seul ki kinda pick me girl tho..every guys go after her..🤣🤣🤣
— @abby (@mystictaless) January 5, 2023
Other viewers believe that these kinds of comments are a result of misogyny.
y’all are just hating on her bc shes pretty and popular , like its her fault if men love her ?just leave my girls alone , it shows once again the misogyny of ppl , anyway seulki best girl 🤭#SinglesInferno2 #SingleInferno2 pic.twitter.com/nTcMR2eAHW
— َ (@floaiv) December 28, 2022
— ris🖤shin seulki's lawyer (@sunflowerforshe) December 30, 2022
One Reddit user pointed out that Seul Ki often receives criticism for “[leading] men on” but argues that Yoong Jae did the same thing to Lee So E. And while viewers all seemed to agree that So E deserves better, viewers largely didn’t seem to dislike Yoong Jae because of his overall kind personality.
Young Jae legitimately seems like a kind guy, but his fear of rejecting So-e was so frustrating. He kept saying how he was curious about her and that he wants to get to know everyone, So-e had to reject herself to not make the situation awkward. He kept leading her on, although So-e was at fault too for not taking the hint, and barely anyone acknowledges that. The excuses people say to justify the hate on Seul-ki is that she “leads men on”…..
— Reddit @user905022
While we have Seulki being straight-forward & honest w/ Dong Woo, we also have Yoongjae who can't man up & kept hiding on the excuse of wanting to talk to other people. Since he wasn't being clear, stringing along So-e was painful to watch.#SinglesInferno2#SinglesInferno2EP6 pic.twitter.com/f7rUc0tt1X
— Karie ✴︎ D-29 (@karie202) December 28, 2022
Similarly, the user mentioned that while Seul Ki is criticized for being popular with the contestants, Jin Young, who is undoubtedly the most popular contestant currently among female contestants, receives more hype than criticism.
Everyone is thirsting over Jin Young and he was entertaining most of the women, Seul-ki, Nadine, Minsu until he rejected her. He never paid attention to Seul-ki again and gets mad when she finds someone else that she wants to spend time with. He is interested in Nadine and Seul-ki at the same time yet everyone gives only Seul-ki sh*t for it. Its a damn dating show, any one can talk to anyone as they please including Jinyoung and Seul-ki but I find it so unfair that its only the women getting degraded. Getting called a “Pick-Me”, a “Try-Hard”, “annoying”, “fake” and for what?
— Reddit @user905022
jin young from single's inferno >>>>>>>>>>> pic.twitter.com/MwEga1sAGM
— jiel (@blyueming) December 28, 2022
The Reddit user also specifically points to an instance where Dong Woo “was rude to Jin Young.” During episode eight, Jung Woo and Dong Woo were talking about how whichever of them didn’t get the chance to take Seul Ki to Paradise should get an opportunity to speak to her on the island.
Dong Woo: Then if one of us ends up going… before leaving for Paradise, why don’t we give the person staying a chance to talk to Seul Ki?
Jong Woo: That sounds great.
But while they were talking, Jin Young, who is also interested in Seul Ki, admitted that he didn’t hear them. To which Dong Woo simply replied, “That’s okay,” not bothering to inform Jin Young despite being aware (or, more likely, because he was aware) that Jin Young would want to talk to Seul Ki too.
Jin Young: Sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.
Dong Woo: That’s okay.
The Reddit user alleged that if Seul Ki had made a similar “That’s okay” comment to a female contestant interested in the same person as her, she would have received immense backlash.
On top of that, he was rude to Jin Young saying “you don’t need to know”. I just KNOW that if Seul-ki said that to another girl, you guys would all be ripping her apart calling her a b*tch but since it was Dong Woo it “doesn’t matter”.
— Reddit @user905022
One Reddit user commented sharing how they realized they had initially been unfair in their view of So E since they had previously “thought So E made a mistake for only focusing on one person.” But in contrast, they “defended [Jong Woo] sticking to only Seul Ki.”
Many other comments also agree with the user’s criticism of some viewers, pointing out that “people are way too hard on people on this show in general.”
What are your thoughts?
You can read the initial Reddit post here.
You can read about Netflix facing backlash for a TikTok about one of their season one female contestants here.