Kang Daniel has had a successful run as a host so far in his career, fronting shows like Produce 48, Street Woman Fighter, Street Dance Girls Fighter, and now Street Man Fighter. However, comments of his on private messaging app Bubble that compared SWF and SMF have found him in hot water for allegedly being sexist.
Basically, fans asked him about his duties for the SMF show and he talked about the differences between it and SWF, but he did so in a way that his fans felt was sexist and belittling.
And to be honest, it was so comfortable because they were all men. I’m happy. Because my energy doesn’t get sucked out of me. I was very scared in the beginning actually. But Street Woman Fighter was scarier and I like [what I’m doing] now more.
I think it doesn’t sound as bad in English, but the turn of phrase he used carried meaning.
Fans took this the wrong way as the term “energy-sucking” in Korean is often used to refer to situations involving cliques of women in Korea. It is used commonly to patronize and subtly put down women under the stereotype that women are cattier than men.
Perhaps things wouldn’t have been so bad if he relented after that, but he found himself in further trouble when he doubled down and blocked people when called out.
– No but what’s wrong with saying I was scared!!
– Try to picture 1 man standing in front of 60 people
– It’s scary right?
– Even my hands were shaking from holding those cue cards at first
They’re noonas who do their eyeliner and makeup fiercely too. [pause between messages] What do you mean I’m being sexist? I’m at a loss for words… I’ll just skip through it. Blocking them beep boop. Wheee goodbye. Such people would be the ones who get angry when they attend stand-up comedy shows. Just live comfortably. Life is already too hard.
People reading the exchange basically called him a typical man, where a strong woman intimidates them so they feel they have to bring the women down in snide comments, essentially.
While I suppose it’s not the most blatant case, most celebs aren’t going to be caught out like that in a public forum, so supposed mask slips like this are going to draw him scrutiny on these topics. Plus, given what we know about the current gender divide in South Korea, it’s difficult to give the benefit of the doubt.
He has since apologized.
Hello, this is Kang Daniel.
First, I’d like to apologize for the private messages [on UNIVERSE].
I am sorry for causing unnecessary misunderstanding by exaggerating the meaning of “I was nervous and shaking.”
My response in the situation where I was trying to be wary of promoting or heightening gender conflict was imprudent.
I’m sorry that this whole process hurt my fans, who always care about me and worry about me.
From now on, I will be more careful about my remarks and actions.