‘Bodily: 100’ Controversies, Defined

Infectiously healthful and initially pitched because the more healthy various to the upcoming Squid Sport: The Problem, it appeared that Netflix’s Bodily: 100 was a actuality TV unicorn. Within the weeks following its rise to worldwide success, turning contestants like Jang Eun-sil, Choo Sung-hoon, and Yung Sung-bin into Web royalty, the blemishes on an in any other case excellent facade have begun to point out. The next controversies vary from allegations of manipulated outcomes to precise crime.


Contestants on Physical: 100 participate in the competition's first challenge, hanging from bars for as long as they can.
Picture by way of Netflix 

One of many first contestants to talk publicly in regards to the present was actress and former idol trainee Elaine Wong, whose feedback generated headlines and YouTube thumbnails portray a disastrous image. “Behind the scenes,” she instructed AsiaOne in early February, simply two weeks after the premiere, “there’s an ambulance each 20 to half-hour, choosing up [contestants] and going off.” The entire of the interview is definitely lighthearted in tone, and she or he doesn’t remorse the expertise nor her eventual loss to pink-haired Shim Eu-ddeum within the Dying Match problem. No less than two of the accidents sustained in that problem had been depicted on the present, together with an elbow to the face and fractured ribs.

RELATED: ‘Squid Sport’ Actuality Present Contestants Reportedly Require Medical Consideration

What wasn’t proven was the lasting injury from the very first problem, the Pre-Quest, the place all 100 contestants hung onto metallic bars. UDT teacher Kim Kyeong-baek received the primary spherical, however his arms were paralyzed for two months. With any kind of bodily problem, one would hope that the manufacturing group is taking the correct security precautions. In 2014, situations within the Korean movie trade had been so dangerous as to be worthy of international scrutiny. That was, nevertheless, lengthy earlier than the large inflow of funding from Netflix, which can have introduced the wanted reform. Then once more, Squid Sport: The Problem.

Unnamed Contestants Accused of Assault

Physical 100 week one still.
Picture by way of Netflix 

On February 23, the Seoul Gangnam Police Station received a report that one of many contestants — as but unnamed — assaulted his girlfriend, and so they subsequently booked him for questioning. A special contestant is going through costs for making threats in opposition to his girlfriend, with stories alleging physical abuse.

A proportion of any group of 100 will transform, let’s say, questionable characters, however the reputation of Bodily: 100 owes largely to the overall air of camaraderie among the many contestants. A far cry from American actuality TV, these fitness center rats and meatheads had been all the time bowing to 1 one other and cheering one another on. Whereas these particular person incidents can’t presumably replicate on all 100, it’s all the time disappointing when the folks we root for on tv aren’t who we thought they had been.

Kim Da-young Bullying Scandal

Kim Da-young, a contestant on Netflix's Physical: 100.

One of many standouts of Bodily: 100 was teeny-tiny stuntwoman Kim Da-young, whose head for security was instrumental to her group’s win on the Transferring Sand problem. After being accused of bullying her classmates in center faculty, she posted an apology on February 24, admitting to verbal abuse however denying the extra claims of bodily violence. Now, this can be surprising to American viewers, who’ve by no means heard of a celeb being canceled for “bullying” or any wrongdoing dedicated as a baby (good day, Mark Wahlberg), however it is a frequent prevalence within the hallyu world, even described by NBC Information in 2021 as a “#MeToo-style reckoning.” Identify a Ok-drama or Ok-pop group, and likelihood is there’s somebody who’s been caught up in this sort of scandal. Within the case of the actor Kim Ji Soo, the accusations had been sufficient that he was dropped by his expertise company and changed within the present River The place the Moon Rises. Alternatively, the allegation against Apink’s Chorong prompted a defamation lawsuit.

2023 is a hell of a time to be accused of bullying, given one other Korean present’s reputation on Netflix, The Glory, which can recommend why there’s a distinction between American and Korean perceptions of college bullying. The Ok-drama’s brutal violence is predicated on a real-world incident, as described by The Korea Times: “In Might 2006, a bunch of freshmen at a center faculty in Cheong-ju, North Chungcheong Province, abused a fellow scholar utilizing a hair iron and clothes pins. Asking the sufferer to ‘verify whether or not the iron is scorching sufficient,’ the abusers burned the flesh of the sufferer who was later hospitalized in consequence.”

It’s tempting and even affordable to characterize the issue of college violence as a microcosm of larger Korean society, which is like Bert Cooper’s tremendous watch wound tight, all the time ticking. “Sounds extra like a bomb!” South Korea has the highest suicide rate amongst developed nations, and for younger folks, it’s the stress of competitors in class and the workforce. As overseas instructor Ciaran Maguire observed within the nation, “It’s a worry of an unstable life that strives my college students to get up at 6 a.m., research all day and clock off at midnight, each day.” A shortcut to get forward, to seem sturdy, could also be to show that others are weak. For a lot too many, it might appear, there’s a proverbial money prize all the time at stake. What of the true ones, then?

Rigged Finale Allegation

Woo Jin-yong participating in the final challenge on Physical: 100.

That is an accusation as outdated as actuality TV itself, presumably circumvented in every case if not for the time period “actuality.” The ultimate two contestants of Bodily: 100, Jung Hae-min and Woo Jin-young, competed in an occasion the place every participant needed to pull rope out of a seemingly infinite spool. As made worldwide by TikTok consumer @krealitylover on February 26, an unbiased South Korean paper, Ilyo Shinmun, reported that this problem was filmed three times. In response to the consumer, “For the primary time they filmed, Jung Hae-min … was in an enormous lead. However Woo Jin-young raised his palms and mentioned that there was a difficulty along with his machine.” After the manufacturing workers indicators off on the gear, the match resumes with Hae-min as soon as extra taking the lead. Filming halts once more, this time for ‘an audio subject.’”

Regardless of the damage-control statements made by distributors Netflix and MBC, the rumor grew to become a conflagration: Bodily: 100’s winner, Woo Jin-young, stopped the competitors when it was clear he was about to lose. On February 28, Hae-min himself testified to the 2 stoppages. Jin-young made a public statement in a while March 4, denying that he requested a stoppage within the first place. “It isn’t true that I raised my hand and stopped the match.”

A press convention that includes Jin-young was canceled (for this and the opposite controversies), and even fellow contestant Ma Sun-ho was attacked online for having uploaded a YouTube video that includes Jin-young. Unlucky in itself, it’s additionally an eerie recreation of an incident that took place at the 1988 Olympics, the place the Korean boxer who received a gold medal was heckled on the podium, criticized within the media, and publicly insulted — by Koreans. Park Si-hun’s fellow countrymen didn’t consider he deserved the medal, and so they let him know. Within the ensuing years, the athlete battled despair and suicidal ideas, and by no means boxed once more. Some issues, it might seem, haven’t modified. We simply have the Web now.

There’s a negligible distinction between the winner of Bodily: 100 and each different contestant, particularly the runner-up. Whether or not supposed or not, essentially the most profound takeaway from the present is that there isn’t any one true measure of energy. No matter glory afforded to the person winner is simply icing on the cake of getting carried out effectively, which a majority of the contestants had finished. Woo Jin-young carried out effectively, as did Hae-min. If hypothetically set in opposition to one another within the rope problem once more, it’s understood that both is the probably victor. The controversy solely reinforces this, sarcastically compounding the present’s themes whereas apparently satisfying nobody.

Kim Chun-ri vs. Park Hyung-geun

Picture by way of Netflix

Unobscured by any difficult modifying, essentially the most uncomfortable second in Bodily: 100 was the Dying Match between Kim Chun-ri and Park Hyung-guen. At first look, the end result appeared apparent: the cumbersome feminine bodybuilder Chun-ri may elevate Hyung-geun into the air and spin him round like a chef making pizza. And he or she tries it, however MMA fighter Hyung-geun, who didn’t seem like taking the match significantly, countered her strikes and maneuvered her to the bottom earlier than kneeling on her chest. Chun-ri’s voice-over narration conveyed her shock. She couldn’t transfer. In the meantime, the contestants watching the match registered their discontent with the tactic, prompting Hyung-geun to do a “zip your lips” gesture, which Jang Eun-sil described as “chilling.”

The Web didn’t approve, both, and Park Hyung-geun grew to become a simple goal for hate. Nonetheless, he went on to be an essential a part of Eun-sil’s underdog group, and one by no means is aware of what’s occurring behind the scenes. On February 18, Hyung-geun uploaded a brief skit to his Instagram account, recreating the scene with a cute reversal. He’s enjoying the position of the upset viewers, whereas three of the feminine contestants — Eun-sil included — throw the “zip your lips” transfer again at him.

Chun-ri directly defended Hyung-geun in an Instagram submit, saying, “I do know that a number of viewers could have felt discomfort from the mere reality of seeing his knee on my chest, however I didn’t enter this contest as a ‘girl,’ however as a competitor, so I’ve no regrets in regards to the loss.” Writing for CNN, author Jeff Yang also notes that, “As if to show out [Chun-ri’s] level, petite Kim Da-young subsequently used pace and agility to defeat a lot bigger male jiujitsu fighter Chae Wan-ki on the identical sport — deftly demonstrating that ladies may, certainly, win out in opposition to male opponents with the correct abilities and mindset.”

Ascendio Lawsuit

For one scandal that mercifully excludes our favorites from the present, considered one of Bodily: 100’s manufacturing corporations, Luyworks Media, is in legal trouble with leisure firm Ascendio, which filed a lawsuit over accreditation. Actually, eagle-eyed viewers could have seen that Ascendio wasn’t included within the credit in any respect, if such a factor may be seen, and Luyworks had characterised the present’s manufacturing as having proceeded with out Ascendio’s involvement by any means.

In a neighborhood press launch, a consultant for Ascendio mentioned, “In February final 12 months, we signed a planning and growth funding contract with Luyworks and paid the prices for manufacturing. Since then, we have now not acquired any return on the funding, and the contract continues to be in full impact.” For its half, Luyworks maintains that the contract shouldn’t be in full impact, and Ascendio had been correctly notified of its cancelation. If Bodily: 100 certainly required three manufacturing corporations (together with MBC), a scale-down to 2 would possibly make future occasions even smaller in scale than “shuttle run.”

What’s ‘Bodily: 100’ Now?

Whereas something is feasible, it might be stunning if any of those controversies impacted the way forward for Bodily: 100, past classes about sport variables and background screening for contestants. And it might undoubtedly be a disgrace. The present is a salve for a notoriously aggressive tradition — a contest with a number of methods to “win” — which disrupted the battle of the sexes and showcased a wide range of physique sizes and shapes. In the end, Bodily: 100 proved to be a troubled reflection of a troubled society — in a world bereft of untroubled societies, thoughts — and whereas it was good to consider it was anomalous, it’s all of the extra essential for being inextricable.