[Updates] EBS & Busters’ company deny Choi Young Soo abused Chaeyeon, Park Dong Geun under fire for calling her derogatory names, EBS now issues apology

Yesterday a video went viral online after a clip emerged from the EBS show Boni Hani that appeared to depict comedian Choi Young Soo physically abusing Busters member Chaeyeon (15).

Mirror

The concern was definitely valid as that visual is concerning for obvious reasons. However, I figured it was prudent to wait and see what the involved parties had to say.

Well as the issue spread, Monstergram Inc. (Busters’ company) and EBS both denied that Chaeyeon had been abused.

As the issue grew, EBS posted on their homepage, “The controversy that is arising due to a clip of a live video is false. Please refrain from speculating any further.” The producer of the show said, “I am giving a statement because many people seemed worried about yesterday’s live stream. The controversy is not true at all. Please do not speculate anymore.” Monstergram Inc., the agency of Busters, sent an official statement about the situation: “The member herself considered the action a joke and she is taken aback due to how serious many believe the issue is. “We will advise EBS and the cast members to not let something like this happen again. After our member appeared on ‘Boni Hani’ many times, she became good friends with all of the other cast members. This issue arose due to Chaeyeon and Choi’s friendship. They were joking around. They will be more cautious in the future.”

While many couldn’t possibly see how it could’ve been a joke, at the very least I could see the intent potentially being different than how it looked, though honestly if they want this cleared completely hopefully they have another camera angle of this incident that shows something different like him barely touching her or something to that effect.

That’s probably what it’ll take, because given how the video looked I think it’s understandable that people are still skeptical of believing the company and the broadcaster, as taking them at face value is a bit naive. Even recognizing the issues of rushing to judgment and confirmation bias, as somebody who was in wait and see mode on this, the parties claiming they were just joking around as the entire explanation doesn’t do a whole lot to change or justify how the incident looked and sounded. It’s ultimately up to the individual in terms of what they feel happened, but hopefully the issue gets further explanation one way or another.

Update

Another video has emerged from the show and is going viral, this time allegedly depicting comedian Park Dong Geun calling Chaeyeon derogatory terms multiple times.

The alleged transcript of the exchange is shitty regardless, but even worse when one considers she’s just 15.

This incident is gonna be quite a bit harder to explain away for the broadcaster and the company, so hopefully they both make a statement addressing this beyond trying to paint everything as being a joke because something definitely seems to be seriously wrong with all of this.

Update 2

In response to the Park Dong Geun incident EBS tried to brush it off with a bizarre and, quite frankly, unbelievable excuse.

EBS stated, “There was always Listerine in the waiting room, and Chaeyeon would always gargle with Listerine before a show.” They added, “During the live broadcast, he was joking with Chaeyeon and said it to tease her, but both the producer and Park Dong Geun himself did not know that it was a problematic expression.” The network apologized for the use of the expression without knowledge of the meaning, saying both the producers and Park Dong Geun were surprised.

Even if that were somehow true, how would the exchange be appropriate in any way for an educational channel and a children’s show? None of it made any sense.

Well, I guess everybody had the same thought as now the President of EBS, Kim Myung Joong, has issued an official statement as a pop-up on their site, apologizing, saying that they suspended Choi Young Soo and Park Dong Geun, and assured people that they will essentially investigate the incidents and punish those involved.

We apologize. We sincerely apologize to the viewers who always love EBS. Recently, the the YouTube broadcast of EBS’s popular program ‘Tok! Tok! Boni Hani’ included a scene of violence and a scene of verbal sexual harassment which were broadcast without editing. They have caused much discomfort and hurt to our viewers, who are mainly young students. EBS accepts how serious the situation is, and we strongly feel responsibility. As soon as EBS became aware of the incidents, we held an emergency planning meeting and we established our next steps as a company and determined how we will carry them out. Firstly, we are immediately suspending the two cast members involved in the issue [Choi Young Soo, Park Dong Geun], and we have deleted the YouTube video. Rather than this incident being a personal issue between cast members, it is first the great responsibility of EBS’s management. EBS is also very shocked and feels greatly responsible after this incident, which should never have happened, occurred. After this incident, we will be re-examining our entire process for choosing the cast members of our programs. We take full responsibility for our program staff, and we plan to strictly implement disciplinary steps and follow-up measures. Most importantly, we will be thoroughly looking into the cause of the incident so that it does not happen again, and we will realign our production system and whole process of production, taking on strict rexamination and development. So that this kind of incident does not occur again, EBS will be stricter and more careful while producing programs. We once again bow our heads in apology to the viewers who trusted EBS.

Feels like an apology is insufficient for what Chaeyeon has endured on the show, so hopefully they do follow up with meaningful action. Additionally, I’d still like to hear from Chaeyeon’s company, as they initially backed EBS and I sure as hell hope they weren’t involved with trying to sweep this under the rug for them.

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