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'Superstar K3' under fire for distorting truth

2011/09/20 Source

Mnet's "Superstar K3", under fire for questionable editing methods, apologized to viewers Tuesday.

"We thank you for the interest and advice that you have shown for 'Superstar K3'," the producers of the popular audition program said on its website. "We apologize once again to the audience for the recent episode concerning Yeri Band".

Unlike other talent shows that focus on celebrity judges, "Superstar K3" has concentrated on depicting contestants' offstage personas and events. As entrants have increasingly complained that the cable program grossly distorted the truth, makers went on to reveal unedited clips.

Han Seung-ho, the leader of Yeri Band, one of the final 10 contestants, said Sunday through social networking tools that revealing the original footage will do little to change how his band was portrayed as having disputed with a rival team, or how he has been branded a villain. He went on to say that the cable show is manipulating the truth through "devious editing tactics" and admitted through Twitter and online communities that he broke the rules by leaving the performers' accommodation one night earlier.

Shin Hyung-kwan, director of Mnet, said, "It's possible for contestants to be alarmed with the way they are portrayed in the show because they are not celebrities".

Meanwhile experts have pointed out the problem of airing potentially controversial events for the sake of entertainment.

"As contestants become the main characters of the program it is inevitable that the makers of the show control the content", said pop culture critic Kim Gyo-suk.

It becomes problematic since viewers accept what they see onscreen as the truth.

"Even reality programs require dramatic elements and it becomes a problem since viewers tend to believe everything as being the way it is onscreen", said Kang Myung-hyun, communications professor at Hallym University.

"Non-celebrities are at a disadvantage since broadcasters have editorial rights, and so they are largely responsible. However contestants must also realize that they won't always be portrayed in a favorable light, and must be warned of this", said Shim Young-sub, professor of psychology at Daegu Cyber University.


By Lee Hyo-won

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