The recent episode of SBS’s current affairs program “I Want to Know That” has sparked a heated debate over bias allegations, raising questions about the impartiality of the show’s coverage. The controversy stems from the broadcast’s focus on the exclusive contract dispute involving the girl group Fifty Fifty (Saena Arankina Sio). Critics argue that the program failed to provide a fair and comprehensive examination of the major issues at hand, instead opting for a sensationalized approach.
The episode, titled “Billboard and Girl Group – Who Broke the Wings,” delved into the intricate contract dispute between Fifty Fifty, their agency Attract, and the outsourcing producer Dugiverse. The broadcast aimed to shed light on the group’s Billboard achievements, agency conflicts, and the perspectives of various stakeholders, including Fifty Fifty members and parents. However, viewers and experts alike noted that the content largely echoed what had been previously covered by other media outlets.
One of the main points of contention revolves around the conclusion of the episode. It concluded with an emotional reading of a letter from the Fifty Fifty members, seemingly without objective verification of the various suspicions raised throughout the broadcast. This led to accusations of bias and a lack of journalistic integrity, especially in regards to complex issues like individual trademark rights and allegations of falsification.
Following the episode’s airing, KBS PD Koh Kook-jin expressed his disappointment, emphasizing the missed opportunity to provide a comprehensive and balanced view of the situation. He criticized the program for failing to thoroughly compare and confirm the information presented, leaving viewers with unanswered questions and doubts.
Even celebrity journalist and YouTuber Lee Jin-ho voiced his disappointment, highlighting the show’s tendency to portray the Fifty Fifty members as victims without proper scrutiny. He criticized the show’s approach and questioned its commitment to fair reporting.
Additionally, Kim Min-hee, a former member of the group Dush produced by Attract CEO Jeon Hong-joon, accused “I Want to Know That” of manipulating public opinion in favor of Attract through a media play strategy. Kim Min-hee criticized the program for ignoring important aspects of the story, leaving a biased impression of the situation.
In an unexpected twist, the episode drew criticism for involving BTS, a globally renowned idol group, in the discussion. The show’s conclusion saw MC Kim Sang-joong discussing the opaque revenue settlement of idol singers, invoking BTS’s rise to fame. While attempting to provide context, the mention of BTS in a seemingly unrelated context led to discomfort among BTS fans, further fueling the backlash against the episode.
In the aftermath of the broadcast, the program’s viewer bulletin board was flooded with scathing reviews, reflecting the widespread dissatisfaction with the show’s handling of the controversy.
In essence, the episode of “I Want to Know That” surrounding Fifty Fifty’s contract dispute has ignited a firestorm of criticism due to perceived bias and inadequate investigative rigor. As the controversy rages on, it underscores the importance of maintaining journalistic integrity and balance, especially when dealing with intricate and emotionally charged subjects.