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[Newsmaker] Viewers allege sexual objectification of women in KBS drama

A scene from Saturday’s episode of KBS2 drama series “Once Again” (Screen capture of KBS)
A scene from Saturday’s episode of KBS2 drama series “Once Again” (Screen capture of KBS)
The producers of KBS2’s weekend drama series “Once Again” apologized following criticisms that Saturday’s episodes sexually objectified women.

In the two consecutive episodes that aired Saturday, three female characters who opened a kimbab eatery appear in skimpy dresses wearing heavy make-up. The women flirt with the men outside the store to lure them inside, while the male customers stare at the women and comment on the women’s appearance.

The controversial episodes instantly sparked fury among the viewers. Comments on KBS’s official website lashed out that the drama not only sexually objectified women, but that they hinted at the sex trade, even in some scenes involving underage customers.

Some viewers demanded greater responsibility from the state-owned broadcaster while others linked the drama to the recent online abuse case linked to an alleged sex slave ring involving underage victims, pointing out the episodes were especially untimely.


A scene from Saturday’s episode of KBS2 drama series “Once Again” (Screen capture of KBS)
A scene from Saturday’s episode of KBS2 drama series “Once Again” (Screen capture of KBS)

“We regret that some of the scenes aired on Saturday had made the viewers uncomfortable,” the producers of “Once Again” said in a statement posted on the drama website on Sunday. The statement said that the episodes will be edited for repeat broadcasts.

Some viewers continued to protest, accusing the producers of not taking responsibility by saying they had merely made the viewers “uncomfortable” rather than acknowledging that the scenes in question involved sexual objectification of women.

By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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