Beyond the Truth1)
Broadcasting programs have a huge impact on people's lives. They deliver a lot of information and emotions to viewers and capitalize on the virtue of trust. However, that trust is constantly being tested in broadcasting circles. The recent case of TV Chosun's entertainment program <Taste of Wife>, which stopped airing on April 13, shows the seriousness of this break in trust. The program ended due to controversy over a cast member's fake reality, which drew criticism from many viewers. The cast member is suspected of cheating viewers with claims of building ownership and hiring an understudy for which viewers have called for clarification. However, the cast member and the TV broadcast company have not issued a statement on their position. Eventually, the cast member for having stirred the controversy left the program and the broadcasting company halted filming of the show because of heated controversy. Another example is Mnet's audition program series <Produce 101>. In this program, the producer pre-decided the results of participants' auditions and manipulated the number of votes from viewers. Before the fact of operation was revealed, the program received a lot of attention from many viewers, which resulted in four seasons. There were even hopes for a fifth season, but vote rigging emerged after the fourth series aired. This led to an investigation into each season of the series. Eventually, on March 11, the program's producer was sentenced to a two-year prison term and some staff were also punished.
Such controversies have steadily continued over the years, and TV Chosun's more recent audition program, <Miss Trot 2>, is also falling into controversy over manipulation. These examples show how widespread fraudulent manipulation is in the reality TV business and serves as an opportunity to question the true value and meaning of broadcasting. Viewers who watched and found out about the fake reality said, "We were deceived. We feel like idiots who are satisfied with the fake things." TV viewers are expressing their anger at the situation, and the broadcasting industry is now sweating to cope with it. Manipulating episodes of reality shows can increase interest and satisfaction among viewers, but it's ethically and legally wrong. Some effective solutions for these situations are needed with producers taking into account viewers as well as ethical aspects of their programs to create a more sincere broadcasting environment.
1) Jo Seonbi, "Why 'Taste of Wife' succumb to Forgery", Nocut News, April 13, 2021