Recently, there has been a movement for Running Man cast member Song Ji Hyo to leave the show.
Netizens claim the actress has not been as active as in past episodes, explicitly citing her behavior in the June 25th airing as an example.
During this episode, Song Ji Hyo stands to the side as the show’s other members improvise a comedy skit and keeps to herself while the cast eats together in another moment.
While some netizens have defended her, mentioning her ongoing feud with her label, others have called for her removal from the show.
- “Her getting criticized has become a routine. If she doesn’t want to change, then she should leave the show. If she wants to stay, she should take the criticism.”
- “She has been criticized for many years now, and she still hasn’t changed. If she doesn’t want to leave completely, I wish she would take a break from the show to recharge…”
- “She should decide to leave on her own. She’s been so bad recently.”
- “If she’s having a hard time, isn’t it best that she leave?”
- “Song Ji Hyo is my favorite character, but I want her to leave. I hate to see her getting criticized.”
- “It just feels like she doesn’t match the show anymore, and I feel like she’s tired. I think this is a decision for her to make on her own.”
- “I think a member change is needed.”
Many may not know that Song Ji Hyo was once kicked off the show before with some unexpected results.
In 2016, it was announced that Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook would be leaving the show due to it coming back with a new style and format in 2017. Initially, it seemed like the two were involved in the decision to leave.
This turned out to be untrue, with Song Ji Hyo revealing she only learned about her departure through media articles. Her agency released a statement confirming this and the lack of communication from the production crew.
“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.”
— Song Ji Hyo’s agency
Following this announcement, rumors circulated that the remaining cast would also leave the show, with SBS announcing the series would be canceled entirely following the final episodes that would feature the full cast.
One of the show’s producers claimed the entire thing was a misunderstanding and that the cast and producers were “like a family,” however, Song Ji Hyo’s agency’s statement seemed to imply otherwise, revealing she would only be in the final appearances due to loyalty to her castmates.
…to the relationship between her and Kim Jong Kook that drives shippers wild…
…and her incredible skills as an entertainer.
— el ❖ 송지효 (@elleigh_sjh) June 27, 2023
The show continued to this day and, hopefully, will continue with Song Ji Hyo in the future!