MBC’s “Sesangbogi Sisigakgak” (Seeing the World, Minute by Minute) newsmagazine show is standing behind the controversial story it aired on May 28 about what it dubbed the “shocking reality” South Korean women face by dating men from other countries.
The show’s chief producer said Thursday he couldn’t understand why foreign residents in South Korea were upset by the five-minute report.
The report created anger and resentment in the expat community around the country. It became fodder for some of South Korea’s most-read expat bloggers.
A Facebook group started, called “Action Against MBC Korea And Their Racist, Biased ‘Reporting,’” and has drawn 8,000 members in the past week. Outside the MBC headquarters in Seoul, where reporters from MBC News have been on strike since January, a rotating group of Korean women and their foreign boyfriends and husbands, have run a silent protest of their own.
South Korean media, as happens in other countries, tend to scapegoat, deride and criticize foreigners for a variety of reasons, some real but many exaggerated. English teachers, in particular, get an outsized heap of criticism from the South Korean media, owing in part to the fact that, as elsewhere, scary stories about children get lots of attention. Many long-time expats have observed that foreigners are criticized less frequently by the domestic media in recent years.
So the MBC report, actually researched and filmed by an external company, may be something of an anachronism prompted in part by the fact that its reporters are on strike. It was egregious in its use of stereotypes, undeveloped assertions and presentation tricks (only one identified source and lots of hidden cameras and disguised voices) to convey its message.
( Collapse )