In all of the episodes of the popular TV show Running Man, the cast members get super cheeky and are not shy to tease and annoy one another. This playful bickering and bantering amongst the cast members is actually what sets the show apart and naturally, viewers expect, most of the time, to get a good laugh out of such dream-working teamwork.
In the latest episode which aired February 23, 2020, however, when the members pushed for a “love line” or a hint of romance between comedian Ji Suk Jin and actress Jeon So Min, it made viewers to grow largely uncomfortable. When vocalist Kim Jong Kook brought up that Ji Suk Jin has a sticker picture of Jeon So Min pasted on his car dashboard, the cast members took the opportunity and ran with it. They teased that Ji Suk Jin has a crush on Jeon So Min…
He has a cute picture of himself on the steering wheel… and a picture of Jeon So Min on the dashboard on the passenger’s side!
— Kim Jong Kook
… and while such love interests are common developments on this particular show, viewers believed the cast members crossed the line because Ji Suk Jin is actually a married man. Viewers also commented, in an online discussion that followed the episode, that Ji Suk Jin seemed clearly uncomfortable with the cast members “framing” him in a “forbidden romance” with Jeon So Min — especially as he tried to explain multiple times that he never uses the driver’s or the passenger’s seats.
That is not MY car. I don’t ever use it myself. I only ride in the back seat when I’m being driven to my schedules. Come on!
— Ji Suk Jin
The teasing continued, as Kim Jong Kook revealed that he also found a receipt for a women’s purse from the luxury brand Bottega Veneta in the car. Comedian Yoo Jae Suk urged that Ji Suk Jin “explains himself”…
No matter how hard you try, you can’t get away from this one this time. What’s up with the picture? And the bag? Tell us!
— Yoo Jae Suk
… while other cast members like Haha playfully commented that he “may or may not remember Jeon So Min carrying a bag from that brand”, fueling the suspicion. Again, while everything happened in a playful manner and no one on the set took the cast members pulling Ji Suk Jin’s leg to be serious…
You know what? I’ve got nothing to hide. I did nothing wrong. You can air all of this and I won’t be affected because it’s not me and I know it, my wife knows it.
— Ji Suk Jin
… viewers did eventually grow tired and even upset at how “disrespectful” the joke had gotten on Ji Suk Jin. They also pointed out that the cast members teasing Ji Suk Jin and Jeon So Min has already become problematic in the past — and that they are disappointed in the production for not learning anything from the previous round of criticism.