Talking to Evan Ramstad of the WSJ, the producers of “The Shocking Reality About Relationships With Foreigners” expressed their bewilderment at the anger expressed by some foreigners at the segment (grab your pills!):
The producer responsible for the newsmagazine, who asked not to be named, said the story was pitched by an outside production firm, called All That Media, that’s one of seven MBC has been relying on for content since its journalists went on strike.
“When they presented the item, we thought it’s a kind of issue that had been talked about for a long time, Korean women dating American English teacher to learn English, and especially in Itaewon area,” he said, referring to a neighborhood that’s long been frequented by foreigners due in large part to its proximity to the U.S. army post.
“I don’t understand why foreigners get angry about the issue while they are living with their spouses and having no problem,” he said. “Foreigner-Korean women couples are living happily, but why are they angry over an issue that has nothing to do with them?”
He said the piece intended to portray “Korean women who are out of their sense and get involved in these kinds of affairs.”
“We need to be awakened and try to change this culture,” he said. “We had no intention to disparage foreigners. We wouldn’t do a report about foreigner-Korean women couples who are living without any problem.”
See? They didn’t mean to demean foreigners. They meant to portray “Korean women who are out of their sense and get involved in these kinds of affairs.” They’ve actually done you guys a favor, helping you avoid these “women who are out of their sense.” As a resident of the Itaewon area, and therefor especially at risk of encountering such senseless women, I thank you.
Apparently, however, not all the higher-ups at MBC have appreciated “Sesangbogi Sisigakgak”‘s public service:
The producer said one of MBC’s senior managers conveyed a complaint about the piece from a couple he knew in which the husband is American and wife is Korean. “His American friend got angry about the report,” the producer said. “I don’t understand why he would get angry if it’s not something he was involved in.”
I guess he might understand the anger better if somebody like FOX or the Daily Mail ran a similarly produced piece about “The Shocking Truth about Korean Students Who Shoot Up American Universities.”
Anyway, I said we shouldn’t expect much. And we didn’t get much, the comedic value not withstanding. Now that the WSJ—or at least its blog—has mentioned it, I wouldn’t count out a statement by MBC, but would caution that nobody should get their hopes up—I’ve heard/read far worse directed at joseonjok and other non-Western foreigners with little in the way of reflection (or bitching from Western expats, for that matter) besides the brief window following the election of Rep. Jasmine Lee to the National Assembly.