On the variety show ‘Brave Family‘, comedian Park Myung Soo went upside the head of AOA member Seolhyun for dropping an egg. This caused a bit of a controversy and ignited a debate over if it was just malicious editing or not.
In any case, the producer of the show responded and basically said that it wasn’t a big deal.
On January 24, “Brave Family” PD Song Jun Young revealed, “The closing preview from yesterday’s broadcast has become a controversy of Park Myung Soo pushing Seolhyun’s head. However, it is a misunderstanding. During the time of filming, the entire cast, including Park Myung Soo and Seolhyun, was on edge. At the time, all of the cast members were having a hard time as they were not able to have a proper meal. In this situation, Seolhyun accidentally dropped the egg [that Lee Moon Sik came by], which made Park Myung Soo nudge her head slightly as a way of scolding.”
The PD continued, “There was no problem at the time of filming. Park Myung Soo normally treats Seolhyun with affection. Please view it as a natural interaction between family members. I hope there are no misunderstandings amongst viewers.”
Good to know, but luckily we can look for ourselves and judge.
So it certainly wasn’t a noogie or something, and he gave her head a solid rap to the side of the skull.
Personally, I think context is important. Yes, hitting on the head like that is common on Korean variety shows (and elsewhere in Asia, really), especially if the people involved are close, and thus it isn’t seen as aggressive or harmful under those circumstances. This makes sense, like if your friend shoves you after a joke and swears, you laugh it off. But some random dude shoves you on the street and you’re wondering what the fuck his problem is.
But the reason I found this awkward is actually because of the context and explanation. They were having a hard time on the show, Seolhyun fucked up their food/hard work, and his reaction is to go upside her head out of anger and frustration, not because they were joking or because they’re close or for laughs. Seemed more malicious outburst than anything else, and while they’re PLAYING a family, they aren’t ACTUAL family.
So you aren’t gonna find me defending him.
The other part of it is the comments, both domestically and internationally. In both places, the general reaction has been to talk about how it’s “normal in Asia” or how it’s “the culture” or how “YOU NEED TO KNOW MYUNGSOO OPPA’S PERSONALITY”, but what all that hides is simple: it’s not about the action, it’s about the people involved.
Park Myung Soo is loved for ‘Infinity Challenge‘ and ‘Happy Together‘ and all that shit, Seolhyun is basically nugu to most, and then factor in that they see it as generally okay for an older dude to smack the shit out of kids just because. Thus, we get oppa didn’t mean it. On the other hand, if Nana or Hyomin or Hyeri or somebody like that even looked at Myung Soo wrong, they would get dragged to hell. If Seolhyun did the exact same thing that was done to her to Myung Soo or somebody else in the next episode, her career would be in danger. Or maybe I’m wrong and if Nana went upside Youngji‘s head after she dropped the dogshit they were cleaning up on ‘Roommate‘, netizens would talk about context and culture, right? Riiiight.
People would flip shit if some random old man smacked their kid, but because “they know the true oppar”, this is fine. Look, maybe the show did edit it for dramatics, but the hitting part definitely happened, and I wouldn’t find the reactions to it so absurd if I didn’t know exactly how other situations would play out. Sure, NOW it’s “normal” and “cultural” … until Lee Guk Joo goes upside the head of an EXO member, thus starting World Wars III-X.
What I’m saying is that hopefully Myung Soo never does this to Hyomin or Nana or Hyeri, because the Seoul power grid can only handle so much simultaneous Sybian usage from those wanting to get off to the abuse vid.