Does the Korean Entertainment Industry Place Too Much Pressure? Reality Show Contestant Commits Suicide

Story by Y. Peter Kang. 

A cast member of a South Korean blind-date reality show was found dead of what appears to be suicide on Wednesday as the show was being shot on Jeju Island, according to the Korea Times.

The 29-year-old office worker, surnamed Jeon, was found dead in a bathroom of her room at a bed-and-breakfast inn. The show’s crew reportedly forced their way into the locked bathroom after a fellow cast member became concerned.

Police found a note next to her body which stated, “I am very sorry to my mom and dad. I don’t want to live anymore because life is too tough.”

Shooting for the dating show, called Jjak, began on Feb. 27 and documents the activities of 10 or more men and women who live in a “love village” for one week. The final show was set to be filmed on the day of Jeon’s death.

Prompted by public outcry, SBS said it would not air the episodes in which Jeon appeared.

Many argued that producers often cause excessive stress to those who appear on the show by only choosing good-looking candidates with superior background. Jeon was regarded as an ordinary office worker.


“Even celebrities come under a great deal of stress when details of their private life are exposed. The cast members of Jjak are just ordinary people. They can be under huge pressure and stress,” said Kim Ju-wan, a netizen, commented on the show’s bulletin board.

The broadcaster said in a statement, “We apologize once again, and we will do our best to prevent similar cases from taking place ever again.”



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