Popular variety program, Hangout With Yoo has belatedly become the target of scrutiny for a random reason—and MBC has responded to the complaints.
According to media reports, the MBC viewers’ committee has expressed their discomfort in Lovelyz Mijoo‘s character for the recent episodes shown on the program. In a shortened response, MBC stated that Mijoo was cast as that particular character because they needed someone to play “an attractive but unintelligent character.”
The viewers’ committee shared their “discomfort” in specifically Mijoo’s character due to the potential sensitivity regarding “gender topics” that may be portrayed incorrectly.
There has been discomfort in Mijoo’s character portrayal and I ask that you think about it. In the past, it wasn’t an uncomfortable topic to bring up gendered topics, but we discussed this issue with the younger generation. We are concerned that when they watch Mijoo’s character in ‘Hangout With Yoo,’ they will only see her as an attractive, but unintelligent character. It’s not fun at all. I hope you reconsider this.
— MBC’s viewers committee
In regards to their concerns, MBC stepped forward to address the ongoing disappointment with Mijoo’s character on the show. MBC representatives shared that while it’s true that the Lovelyz member is being portrayed as an “unintelligent, but attractive character,” that was exactly what they were looking for.
There were concerns about Lee Mijoo’s portrayal as an attractive, but unintelligent character. We casted her, however, because we needed that exact character.
We cast [Mijoo] with the intention of making the gender roles equal, all the while looking for someone who was fun and compatible with Yoo Jae Suk. That is how we casted her.
— MBC representatives
They continued their explanation by revealing that while Yoo Jae Suk does an incredible job hosting the show, there is “a limit” to his ability to host a show completely alone—which is something Yoo Jae Suk mentioned on the broadcast himself.
Yoo Jae Suk himself mentioned that it’s hard for him to lead on his own. This is the exact reason why we are building family-oriented programs. The tvN show ‘Sixth Sense,’ which features Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Mijoo is centered on female performers. We believed that Mijoo would work well with Yoo Jae Suk, Jung Jun Ha, Haha, and members like these on ‘Hangout With Yoo.’
— MBC representative
Mijoo has been appearing on Hangout With Yoo since the end of August, where she has been showing off her variety show abilities. The Lovelyz member has quickly gone on to become one of the most highly sought after variety idols, as she continues to prove herself week after week with different character portrayals on the program.