UPDATE: CNN iReport has posted piece on this.
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) ran a piece on a show called “Think Different” (stealing slogans from Apple isn’t thinking different) called “The Shocking Truth About Relationships with Foreigners.”
The video presented Korean women who were in bad relationships with foreigners, people being intimate in dark clubs and some drunk foreigners talking about how Korean women are pretty. This was used with the obligatory “expert” saying that Korea needs to be more vigilant because foreigners are increasing in numbers.
Even aside from the racism, the piece itself was clumsily unprofessional. No facts were stated. One hilarious bit was when a producer called someone and said she’d heard that the person was a victim of a foreigner. When that person denied it, the voiceover replied that the victims have trouble admitting the truth.
When contacted by a staffmember at Busan Haps, an English language magazine in Korea’s large southern port city, the MBC representative claimed that their video was outsourced. They didn’t say anything about who decided to air this outsourced video.
It’s common in Korean media to outsource videos, even news pieces. MBC has had problems with a months-long strike. Was this video a side effect of the strike?
This isn’t the first time MBC has been in hot water for racism this past year. In February 2012, a skit aired that showed comedians performing in blackface. After facing international scorn, MBC gave a weak apology and promised not to let anything like that happen again.
After this video aired, it sparked controversy among Koreans and foreigners, condemning MBC for again airing racist programming. A Facebook group was started and gained over a thousand members in a couple of hours.