More from MBC Foriegner-Gate

OhMyNews ran a nice little story on a silent demonstration taking place in front of MBC to protest a recent program depicting foreign guy—Korean girl relationships in a negative light.

There’s also an online petition being conducted to get an apology from the MBC president for the program. Check out this Facebook page, too.

The production company that did the program, meanwhile, wants to know what the fuss is all about:

The lead writer for the show, made by external production company Pan Entertainment, said that she did not consider the content to be controversial, and claimed it was an accurate representation of the situation.

“Our report is based on the facts that we found as we were covering the story and it strictly reported on the present situation. We have made it clear that it only reflected the few,” she said, adding that she was concerned about the potential harm to the image of Korean women.

“We have not revealed the races of the men we talked to and we tried our best not to reveal the areas that it was filmed. We only tried to show that there is a difference in culture and I hope that there is no more misunderstanding.”

Last, but not least, R.M. Adamson posted a very good post on the whole mess at Three Wise Monkeys—be sure to read it in its entirety.

Just to make some comments of my own, like Roboseyo, I think things have gotten much better, and I try to have a sense of humor about these things. MBC president Kim Jae-chul probably has more pressing issues at hand, too. Still, the MBC segment in question was so over-the-top—and its objectives so unclear—that an apology from somebody at MBC is in order. I do think MBC will eventually issue some sort of statement if they get enough phone calls and/or somebody like the WSJ’s Korea Real Time picks up the story. As for the production company itself, they seem pretty clueless—I’d be keen to here them explain just what they think that “difference in culture” is—so don’t expect much from them.

  • jefferyhodges

    First, they came for the foriegners. Then, they came for the foreigners . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • jkitchstk

    To say things have “gotten better” because Koreans didn’t react the same to an negative episode about English teachers as they did about foreigners isn’t the same, apples and oranges.

  • ZenKimchi

    Well, I think maybe having repeatedly gotten burned on overly sensationalized stories have raised the critical thinking skills a bit. Post-2008 Jeon-kyu Public (see what I did there) is a little more skeptical. Which I’ve heard is also why you haven’t heard much cheering for the MBC strikers.

  • ZenKimchi

    I fear the eventual MBC apology will be similar to the black face you-need-to-understand-our-unique-culture one.

  • ZenKimchi

    Robert, I’m pretty much with you and Roboseyo.

  • R. Elgin

    Considering that the central government has plans to host foreign workers for the purpose of alleviating the shortage of workers in Korea, the government should put the screws to MBC and their campaign of slander.

  • Creo69

    Me thinks this lady believes her “it only represents a few” foreigners exonerates her from all culpability for her idiocy.

    As they say, ignorance is bliss. And this dimwit is definitely ignorant.

  • jkitchstk

    Blogger 1 – “Bumomo Better Bumomomomo Bumo Korea”
    Blogger 2 – “I agree”
    Blogger 3 – “I agree with you no. 2 about no. 1″
    I feel the earth move under my feet!
    Not only was the recent episode about ALL foreigner men as opposed to ONLY English teachers but like 3WiseMonkeys points out “The good news is that at least this time we are not getting painted as pedophiles.”

  • kkachi

    Nobody cares what a bunch of foreigners thinks. This was broadcast to Koreans. MBC will only apologize if their financial interests are threatened. There’s an outside chance that enough bad publicity will force an apology, but it would take a lot more than a Facebook circle-jerk to do that. As mentioned above, foreign media would need to get involved.

    MBC broadcast this to a domestic audience. The most important question is why they did this broadcast. (Yes, it was done by an outside company, but MBC agreed to broadcast it. )

    Why on a morning show? Who was their target audience? Why this message at that time? Were they trying to have a specific effect, or were they just too desperate to fill air time they just put any crap on? What’s the story?

  • susasum

    @1 ” . . . here,” hear!

    But seriously, what an interesting and important post. The article by RM Adamson was impressive and all those beautiful interracial family photos at the facebook page were truly heartwarming. Hopefully the WSJ does pick up this important issue.

    like Roboseyo I think things have gotten much better, and I try to have a sense of humor about these things.

    I tend to agree, but of course saying as much is acknowledging that things are not as they should be. There is one thing that seems to have gotten worse as of late and it’s the focus on foreigners being an AIDS threat.

    the government should put the screws to MBC and their campaign of slander.

    I’m afraid that would be like expecting the PRC to punish Yang Rui for his xenophobic rants. Not. Gonna. Happen.

  • slim

    Will whoever sends the North Korean army the correct coordinates for MBC also include those for Pan Entertainment, too. Thanks!

  • R. Elgin

    /. . . I’m afraid that (punishing MBC) would be like expecting the PRC to punish Yang Rui for his xenophobic rants. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Not so true I think.
    This is an assault upon the government’s long-term planning rather than just foreigners and, as such, will need to be addressed sooner or later.

  • cm

    First the Mad Cow, then the Black Face, then this incident. MBC is possibly the worst in Korea amongst all TV stations, promoting xenophobia. It’s a privately owned station who has been complaining interference from the government. My sympathies for them all disappear when they continue to put out crap to the public. Why does the publicly owned government administered KBS stations seem to have less problems than the privately owned stations who are running amok insulting everyone?

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s a privately owned station

    It is a privately owned station… and 70% of its stocks are held by the Foundation of Broadcast Culture, meaning that they have the power to fire/hire the president of MBC.

    And who appoints people into FBC?

    Oh, would you look at that. Korea Communications Commission.

  • cm

    So what are you suggesting Bum? The government orchestrated it’s own anti-government plot in 2008, against the anti-US beef import riots? The government plotting against itself to with the goal of bringing itself down through manipulative programs?

  • Brendon Carr

    You do realize that Korea and its government are not monolithic, don’t you?

  • slim

    I always thought of MBC as quasi-public.

  • paulhewson

    Wwwoooowwww. That R. M. Adamson article was very well-written.

    Seriously! Great article! I wish I wrote it.

    Well-balanced and thoughtful.

  • jkitchstk

    # 10 susasum,
    “I tend to agree”
    Yeah, you and Korean bloggers(imagine that). I found the below links in 3 minutes, what can you find to support your opinion? Other than the Korean government supporting foreign wives of Korean husbands(but not foreign men of Korean wives) by teaching them about Korean culture and language I honestly can’t see how things are getting better.
    고려대 재학생 58.8% “외국인 근로자 차별대우 당연”
    “A poll by Korea University’s newspaper of 262 students revealed that 58.8% thought it natural to discrimate against foreign laborers in terms of employment and wages. On the other hand, 82.8% said expanding Korea’s racial, religious and cultural diversity would help national competitiveness, but of that 82.8%, 78.8% said there is a limit to accepting people with different races, religions and cultures.”

    Discrimination of foreign-born Koreans

    A little bit of xenophobia keeps the foreigners well-behaved

    Korean rage? And what about the Chinese-Koreans?
    “While we’re on the topic of the Oikos shooting, the editor-in-chief of a newspaper for ethnic Koreans from China (joseonjok) told the JoongAng Ilbo that even after two mass shootings by ethnic Koreans, there were no calls in America for Koreans to leave. This, he said, contrasted with the situation in Korea, where some are calling for the expulsion of joseonjok after the grissly rape, murder and dismemberment of a young Korean woman by a joseonjok in Suwon. In an editorial, even the Chosun Ilbo—while noting that joseonjok are often discriminated against—warned about the rise in crime and called on the government to “come up with long-term plans to ensure that the number of foreigners here, including ethnic Koreans from China, does not reach unmanageable levels.”

  • jkitchstk

    Those students at Korea University are suppose to be some of the smartest in S. Korea. Most of us would agree that racism is derived from stupidity and lower level universities have dumber students, therefore the 58% is most likely one of the best you could find throughout S. Korea.

  • jkitchstk

    # 5
    “Robert, I’m pretty much with you and Roboseyo”
    Does your gauge on “getting better” depend on whether you are allowed to sit on a food judging panel with other Koreans? If so that’s sad, if I were you I’d make sure you do before you decide to be a judge. BTW, I didn’t see you sitting on the panel next to Koreans(but I didn’t watch the entire video).

  • bumfromkorea


    My sympathies for them all disappear when they continue to put out crap to the public.

    This isn’t true, since the MBC you are having beef with (very easy pun, yes) are no longer in charge of MBC’s news production. In fact, they arguably haven’t been since the beef protest broadcasts.

    Even if MBC turned out the worst crap in the history of journalism again and again (and the truth isn’t that far off from that), it is NOT up to the government to go “I’m gonna fire the president, and 낙하산 in my lackeys.” The journalistic shit from MBC you have seen since 2010 are all the result of Kim Jae Chul and his puppet master(s).

  • madar

    I love this line directly from the broadcast imbedded in R.M. Adamson’s article.

    — “Our reporter tried to contact these victims of foreigners.”
    Show’s a reporter calling a woman and the woman hanging up on her.
    — “Most of the victims avoided telling the truth.”

    This is hilarious. They are saying, we couldn’t fact check any of the “facts” in this report, told to us by a second hand source in a coffee shop, so we decided to warp reality and call everyone we tried to contact liars and some shit we just made up the truth. This makes internet rumors look like hard core reporting.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    kumbaya, my lord
    oh lord, kumbaya~~~~~

    this is just too funny¡

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    the white mans behavior in korea has been atrocious. you folks deserve it. im glad to see the korean man dont your shit anymore. good on korea. remember, casper, nothing is ever your fault.

  • slim

    Again, thanks pawi, for showing us what the unwashed, uneducated mass of people are thinking when they’re not thinking. An authentic dumb voice.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    i think you folks better look in the mirror. the k man done w your shit. good on him. go to japan if you want some guy to lick your ass, k?

  • madar

    Actually, pawikirogii has turned into the racist he so despises. It’s kind of sad, really, like someone abused as child going on to abuse their own children. But then, they are abusing their own children, so when it comes down to it, they are just scum.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    listen, your behavior in korea has simply been atrocious. blaming it all on the k guy just makes you look juvenile. look in the mirror. take responsibility.

  • madar

    Yep, I guess your right, I guess I should go and apologize to my Korean wife, kid, in-laws and all my Korean friends for having a drink now and again and having dated my wife and a few other ladies before that. Thank you for opening my eyes. I would leave Korea in shame, but I would be abandoning my child, and I guess that’s wrong, too… Please teach me the manner in which I can correct all my wrongdoings against Korea.

  • Robert Koehler

    listen, your behavior in korea has simply been atrocious.

    You could tell all the way from New Jersey?

  • Robert Koehler

    jkitchstk—How long have you been in Korea?

  • PineForest

    Long after all who blog here are dead and gone, racism and xenophobia will be at very high levels in Korea. It comes with the territory. The only solution for me was to leave Korea.

    Oh, and BTW my Korean wife and I will soon celebrate 10 years together. We’re very happy, and no MBC assholes can change that, luckily.

    Pawi has once again proven that he’s brain dead.

  • Hume’s Bastard


    Perspectives are rarely based on intelligence, but on group identification. It’s too easy to dismiss those we disagree with as “stupid”, and it misses the very real, human intelligence that goes into being part of a group. Remember, as my Daddy said, “‘Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.'”

    @Brendan Carr: follow the money.

  • bumfromkorea


    Careful. The English teachers might start calling the long-term residents “Uncle Robert”.

  • tz247

    The facebook page really is a circle jerk, I got banned after the first day for having a differing opinion. A few of my other friends have also since been banned for having a differing opinion. It is not the place for an open civil debate.

    The main issue I had with the report was that ALL men in Korea, both Korean and foreigner alike can be pigs. Something Pawi proves quite nicely. Yet this report singled out foreigners.

    As for Korean women getting HIV, sorry Pawi, but it’s not coming from foreign English teachers, they all get tested before they are granted an E2 visa. You have to go talk to the Korean men going to other South East Asian countries for their sex vacations before you can blame that one on us, troll. And somehow, some girl of any nationality call a guy 29 times in 30 minutes, makes her the crazy one– it puts Korean women in a bad light, not the foreign man.

  • hoju_saram

    I’m trying to summon outrage for this but I just can’t.

    Seriously, it’s an obscure sensationalist piece on a morning show that was picked up probably because the network thought it would rate slightly higher than a Choi Hyo-jong or Yoo Jae-Seok gag-man routine rerun.

    Korea has immature racist TV reports, most countries have roaming ethnic gangs or clubs full of nativists dressed in WW2 attire who worship hitler and like stomping on brown and yellow people’s heads. I think the issue here is that white people aren’t used to being a few rungs down from the top of the pecking order. A little bit of perspective: while outraged expats are using savvy web 2.0 skills to organise a protest against a nasty TV show, DDD workers are living in shipping containers, shovelling shit around the clock, and not getting paid for months on end. Christ, even 40-year-old local tradespeople get far worse treatment than 20-year-old western liberal arts majors in the ROK. Meanwhile in Moscow, Mr Kim can’t even leave his hotel room for fear of having a baton shoved up his arse.

    Dating a Korean girl in Korea may encourage certain loons, but in my 5 years in the ROK I only had a handful of bad experiences. And these were more than offset by the times were I was singled out for special treatment of the good variety – which happened pretty much every day.

    I’m just surprised Koreans aren’t a bit more sick of westerners. Personally, I found the treatment by some foreigners of the locals to generally be worse than the other way round, even occasionally (it pains me to say) in the face of kindness. Maybe that was just me.

  • brier

    Bumfromkorea, ‘the long term residents’ include many teachers as well. Why overly differentiate?

  • susasum

    PineForest – congrats on the upcoming 10 year anniversary!

    I think the issue here is that white people aren’t used to being a few rungs down from the top of the pecking order.

    As fashionable as it is to shame white people for decrying racism I don’t think this is the forum for it. The people that seem the most upset by the MBC broadcast are interracial couples with kids. The facebook group of some 8,000 members has at least a hundred photos posted by Koreans and non-Koreans showing happy multi-ethnic families saying they don’t want to bring up their kids in a place where the TV calls their Moms or Dads victims or exploiters.

    Surely there are more shocking cases of racism and discrimination out there (thanks for the gratuitous image of poor Mr. Kim in Moscow by the way!) but that doesn’t mean these families don’t have a valid complaint just because a Mom or Dad happens to be Caucasian.

  • Robert Koehler

    I’m just surprised Koreans aren’t a bit more sick of westerners. Personally, I found the treatment by some foreigners of the locals to generally be worse than the other way round, even occasionally (it pains me to say) in the face of kindness. Maybe that was just me.

    No, it wasn’t just you. The lack of respect can and does run both ways.

  • fanwarrior

    The facebook page has finally calmed down. The problem was that it was completely out of control. So many people so fast, the wall was going a mile a minute. Almost anything constructive was impossible with the posts moving at that speed.

  • commander

    While this MBC hack job was highly insulting to foreign white men, what many haven’t emphasized enough is how degrading it is to Korean women, who are depicted as horny sluts who fling themselves on any random white man they meet. If you believe this report, the streets of Korea are not safe for a white male to walk without being jumped by a desperate woman.

    Having said that, Korea definitely is struggling as a society as it faces more and more integration with other peoples and cultures.

    The average Korean has almost no meaningful personal interaction with a foreigner on a daily basis. People can goes days and months without personally meeting or even seeing a non-Korean on the streets. The only chance to see foreigners is through media such as movies, TV, and now the internet. Many of those foreigners are movie stars, sports stars, and other exceptional people. That is why you sometimes hear amusing comments like, so-and-so foreigner looks like Tom Cruise when in reality that dude may look like a typical loser nerd in his own cultural group.

    So it is not surprising that when an average Korean meets a foreigner, especially a white person, the emotions aroused can be a confusing mixture of fascination, fear, curiosity, admiration, repulsion, etc. On the receiving end, the foreigner who may not have ever experienced this type of attention before may find the positive reactions quite flattering and satisfying and the negative reactions disturbing and frustrating.

    Some reactions I have observed when Koreans meet foreigners:
    – Korean children saying to themselves: wehgook-in ida (foreigners!), kind of in fascination and fear as if they had encountered a rare species. Sometimes they will brag to each other if they actually tried to say something in English to the foreigners.
    – Adults doing a comical double-take as they pass foreigners in the street or subway.
    – Koreans tend to welcome guests with their best treatment, many times going over the top. Foreigners who experience this treatment can get spoiled, and to Robert and hoju-saram’s point, sometimes can be less than respectful and feel a sense of entitlement.
    – Korean kids in the elementary school to middle school range who see foreign kids speak English think it is cool and are fascinated. However when they see other Korean kids speaking English amongst themselves, they get angry and hostile because they think the Korean kids speaking English are showing off. This is a growing issue as more and more Korean kids are raised outside Korea and upon returning are native English speakers and not necessarily fluent in Korean.

    It’s still long, slow road ahead before Korea becomes (if ever) a truly culturally diverse and integrated country. There are many obstacles and opponents of that ever happening. Many aspects of Korea make it a superior place to live than other countries in these times and some changes will have negative effects, so not all change is for the good.

  • aaronm

    Pawi’s just a bit rambunctious at the moment because the following story on military camp prostitution hits too close to home. Every time he is forced to remember how many GI gochus his amma took up the ddong-locker to buy him a tin of spam he takes it out on whiteydom. He’ll soon crawl back into the soju bottle and resume normal service of flogging K-pop’s rise over Europe and speculating on the Korean roots of just about everything of note. There someone had to say it.

  • bballi bballi Paradise

    I would like to personally thank Pawi, because face it, without him this blog just wouldn’t be the same. With him, we all get to reaffirm our opinions of him on a never ending weekly basis.

  • Robert Koehler

    Be that as it may, but there’s really no need to bring up his mom.

  • aaronm

    No need to (further) slander an entire race, either.

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  • SomeguyinKorea


    You accusing someone of being juvenile? Immensely ironic considering it takes a puerile idiot to do what you’ve been doing here, more so given the amount of time and energy you’ve put into it. How long have you been trolling this website?

  • bumfromkorea

    With him, we all get to reaffirm our opinions of him on a never ending weekly basis.

    Unfortunately, the ‘opinion of him’ rapidly mutates into ‘opinion of the Koreans’ for some people here, on a never-ending weekly basis. Also never fails to disgust me.

    No need to (further) slander an entire race, either.

    Is that an incredibly introspective observation, or an incredibly oblivious one?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “Unfortunately, the ‘opinion of him’ rapidly mutates into ‘opinion of the Koreans’ for some people here, on a never-ending weekly basis. Also never fails to disgust me.”

    Yes, and me too. But, what’s equally disgusting is that he seeks to produce such a reaction.

  • slim

    There are, for example, Russian hookers and Nigerian scam artists who have spent more time in Korea than poor pawi, and the quality of his comments show. (His comments on the US are not better and are kind of stuck in the 1950s — embarrassing, oblivious uncle-in-the-attic racism)

    To be clear: pawi is by no means a stand-in for “Koreans” but he does represent reactionary, banal nativists in the land. So just as a journalist parachuting in might ask a taxi-driver for a street’s eye view of things, we can look to pawi when we need to know what the mouth-breathers think on a given issue.

  • jk6411


    eww, it’s you again.

  • Charles Tilly

    If I recall, I believe it was Yangachi who nailed it on the head awhile ago re Pawi and his detractors. It went something like: Sure, Pawi’s a dumb fucking moron. But what’s strange are all the individuals who like clock work feel the need to state the obvious that he’s a dumb fucking moron (i.e slim, et al…)

  • Railwaycharm

    No, it wasn’t just you. The lack of respect can and does run both ways.

    The ugliest examples I witnessed was by English teachers and soldiers. I found the Koreans to be gracious and kind, save for a few soju warriors.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    uh yangachi didnt say i was a moron. he said he liked me and then he said i get to people like slim. poor memory, ya moron!

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    that guy who started that facepage goes by the name of mckinnon or something like that. he comes across as a good guy. i’m sorry he has to be taken out with the trash. he said he’s gonna scale back because he’s receiving threats- from other expats! see he’s a good guy who doesn’t seem to realize that many of his co ethnics in korea are trailer park scum. now he finding out what koreans gotta deal with.

    bum, you will always be part of the borg. you’re not very bright, are you?

  • bibimbong

    i don’t recall english teachers being mentioned at all in the mbc report. did i miss something?

  • jkitchstk

    87% of Korean Fathers/Divorcees are Deadbeat Dads…
    “Families undergoing radical ‘micro’ evolution”
    “Another problem is the lax control on divorcees, as records show that only 13 percent of divorce parents fulfill childcare payment duties to their former spouse who raises their children.”

  • SomeguyinKorea


    He’s probably not Korean. Notice how he always speaks of Koreans in the third person (look at #55)?


    Yes, and I’ve heard some of the stories. The extremes to which some of these guys will go in order not to fulfill their responsibility to make childcare payments is astounding. I guess greed is the dominating motivator for some.

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  • Arghaeri

    The main issue I had with the report was that ALL men in Korea, both Korean and foreigner alike can be pigs. Something Pawi proves quite nicely.

    How does Pawi prove this? he’s an american in america!!!

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