Editorial

MBC cancelled ‘King of Mask Singer’ after controversy over No. 9. How long will this continue?

2024.04.09 17:45

A broadcast screen of MBC's "King of Masks. Courtesy of MBC

A broadcast screen of MBC's "King of Masks. Courtesy of MBC

MBC’s music entertainment program "King of Mask Singer" has become an issue ahead of the general election. The ruling party accused MBC of an intentional political action, while the opposition parties blamed the Yoon Suk-yeol government. In the first place, MBC's "News Desk" weather forecast graphic "fine dust 1" was subject to legal sanctions by the Election Broadcasting Deliberation Committee, and it can be said that the controversy over "biased deliberation" and "media censorship" grew.

MBC postponed the 9th anniversary special broadcast of "King of Mask Singer,” which was scheduled to air on April 7 to the 14th, after the general election on April 10. This was due to an internal opinion that the special episode celebrating the 9th anniversary may be associated with the Korea Rebuilding Party whose number for the elective symbol is nine. It was reported that the “No. 9” was highlighted in the program by singing the theme song of the cartoon “Galaxy Express 999.” There is no doubt that the subjects of misunderstanding are the government and the ruling party that took issue with "fine dust 1.”

The People Future Party, a ruling proportional satellite party, said in a commentary on the 8th, "(MBC) should clarify the allegations of 'colluding with the opposition parties’ and air ‘King of Mask Singer’ immediately." Cho Kuk, the leader of the Korea Rebuilding Party, said, "If the number nine of the 9th anniversary of ‘King of Mask Singer’ symbolizes the Korea Rebuilding Party, the KBS’ News 9 should also be finished." The ruling and opposition parties' arguments for canceling the program are frowned upon, given the level of voter awareness reflected in the record-high early voter turnout for the general election. How many voters would think of the general election while watching music entertainment shows or weather forecasts? It is nothing more than using the TV shows as a means of political attack.

However, fundamentally, we cannot help but hold the government and the ruling party responsible for creating such controversies and situations outside of common sense. The controversy over media control, which began in the early days of the Yoon administration, intensified as the formula of "ruling party’s complaints, rapid deliberation by the Korea Communications Standards Commission, and legal sanctions" was repeated before the general election. In addition to "fine dust 1," which became a subject of severe disciplinary action, the daily report of “News Desk,” which delivered President Yoon's "reasonable if the price of green onions is 875 won" on March 20, is also set to be deliberated by the Election Broadcasting Review Committee in response to the ruling People Power Party’s complaint.

Given the circumstances, it seems that MBC has decided to cancel the music entertainment show voluntarily as if it were self-censorship. A legal sanction by the Election Broadcasting Review Committee is a reason for a deduction in broadcasting evaluation, which is reflected in the relicensing and re-approval of broadcasters. The government and the ruling party should reflect on the reality that attacking the broadcast company as doing a "political action" actually acts as censorship and suffocates freedom of expression. . Are we living in the era of the Fifth Republic? Is the ruling party trying to create a public forum where criticism is blocked?

※This article has undergone review by a professional translator after being translated by an AI translation tool.

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