After “Running Man” (런닝맨) announced the departure of Song Ji Hyo (송지효) and Kim Jong Kook (김종국), both of the stars’ agencies have stepped up to confirm that the stars were told to leave without prior notice.
Upon hearing the news, many fans expressed anger and criticised the show’s production team and SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System), claiming that the duo was forced out of the show.
On Thursday (15th December), the producers of “Running Man” has issued an official apology in regards to the cast change. In a statement, they said:
“We would like to state our position regarding the recent controversy on the cast changes for ‘Running Man.’ The producers have been working with the goal of season 2 in mind.
With the news of the unexpected reorganisation being released, we hurt both Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook, 2 members who we have treated like family for the past 7 years. In regards to that aspect, we would like to sincerely apologise to the both of them.
We sincerely apologise once more for not being more thoughtful and considerate towards both of them. We would also like to apologise to the other ‘Running Man’ members who are feeling confused.”
Despite the controversy, “Running Man”will be going through some changes in style and formatting for its 2nd season early next year due to falling viewership. It was also reported that Kang Ho Dong declined the casting offer as joining the show would be “an uncomfortable situation”.
Kang Gary, who deleted all of his Instagram posts shortly after the casting news yesterday, took to Instagram to share a black-and-white photo of him sitting together with Song and Kim, making it his first post on his account. In his caption, he wrote, “You have worked very, very, very hard. Thank you.”
We don’t know what will happen to “Running Man” after this, but we will definitely miss seeing the 3 of them together.