Reality contestant tragedy in South Korea

A South Korean broadcaster is facing a storm of media criticism following the shock suicide of a female reality contestant.

2014-03-07_1146South Korean broadcaster SBS is facing a storm of media criticism following the shock suicide of a female contestant on its popular reality matchmaking show,  Jjak (The Mate).

The 29-year-olwas found dead on Wednesday during a week-long production shoot at a guesthouse in the southern island of Jeju.

She left a note saying she didn’t want to live anymore, police said.

Since its debut in 2011, Jjak has made a name for putting participants through the emotional wringer, forcing them to eat alone outside when rejected by the date of their choice. The show puts 10 men and women in the same guesthouse, dubbed “Lovetown”, and puts them through various physical challenges in hopes of getting a date out of one of their fellow contestant.

Friends quoted by a local newspaper said Chun had also complained that the producers were trying to depict her as an unpopular, “tragic girl”.

One report highlighted her text messages saying the producers had shot “too many scenes of me being alone … to highlight matched couples”.

SBS cancelled the scheduled screening of the show on Wednesday and issued an apology to viewers and Chun’s family, but did not accept any direct responsibility for her suicide.

The incident is not the first time Reality contestants have taken such tragic steps with deaths also affecting The Bachelorette, Megan Wants a Millionaire, The Next Great Baker, The Contender, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and American Idol.

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Source: AAP, SBS

2 Responses

  1. That is sickening news. I also didn’t realise there were other suicides relating to reality TV. The stress put on contestants really needs to be looked at including better psychological management.

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