Reality TV programs threaten participants’ private life
Reality TV programs threaten participants’ private life
  • Jeong Dukhyun Pop culture columnist / Trans by Lee
  • 승인 2014.03.21 10:17
  • 수정 2014-03-22 11:48
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A female reality show contestant ended up committing suicide
Anti-fans posted malicious comments against child participants from a TV series “Dad! Where Are We Going?”


Following the death, the program called “Jjak” became abolished.
Following the death, the program called “Jjak” became abolished.

When a female contestant in the dating show “Jjak,” the Korean word for partner, was found dead during a week-long location shoot, many people saw it coming. With cameras watching contestants’ every move and hearing their voice, viewers have been highly critical of the show whose popularity, perhaps, has been built on negative reviews.

A controversy flared up when the show seemed to have been fabricated against participants who later became the subject of public criticism, or when online shopping mall models, one-time actresses in adult shows, and prospective entertainers allegedly appeared on the show to promote themselves or their businesses.

More significantly, however, the show has been notorious for featuring scenes which highlighted stereotypes and ‘inconvenient truth’ about men and women; although people say diverse qualities and traits make an ideal partner, it all boils down to the simple fact that men care about looks and women care about social status. The Internet always became abuzz over the latest episode and members of the cast.

The problem is that the show laid bare and generalized some distorted views on women in the modern world; they have strong materialistic tendencies and they have fallen into the trap of lookism. Around cameras, many female contestants were constantly under pressure because they were afraid that a portion of their mind would be magnified and exaggerated. Such fear is well reflected in a note that the deceased left. Police said the note read “Other contestants told me that I would be affected the most if the program was aired.”

Due to the recent incident, people have begun to pay much attention to violation against women’s and children’s rights manifest in reality TV programs. Private lives of women and child participants have been particularly exposed through the lens of “Big Brother" like cameras. For instance, anti-fans targeted and jeered at child participants from a reality TV program called “Dad! Where Are We Going?”

Children are too young to make a decision on their own. It probably was their parents who encouraged them to appear in the program. Under such circumstances, camera exposure itself may intrude on children’s life.

Women are no exception. Thy are defenseless around surveillance cameras that peep into their private life around the clock. Depending on editing, their life can be portrayed as ‘abnormal.’

It is an established fact that the way that women and children are consumed indicates the level of human rights protection in a society. Accordingly, recent infringement cases have unveiled the status of human rights protection in Korea.


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