A prior episode of Running Man has recently resurfaced, causing the staff members to face negative criticism for forcing Song Ji Hyo to face her fear of bugs as a form of punishment.
On the episode in question, HaHa had to choose which member he would save from receiving a punishment for failing to complete a mission. He had 5 minutes to decide, and he could only choose 1 member: Kim Jong Kook, Lee Kwang Soo, or Song Ji Hyo.
Song Ji Hyo’s punishment was to put her hand in a box full of millipedes. With every minute that passed, the box of insects moved closer and closer towards Song Ji Hyo’s hand.
Because of her extreme fear of bugs, Song Ji Hyo begged HaHa to save her, crying in the process.
HaHa also noticed her fear and argued that the punishment might be too excessive.
Regardless, the crew urged HaHa to make a decision. As HaHa was trying to decide, the editing focused on Song Ji Hyo’s fear, which looked legitimate.
Finally, HaHa chose Song Ji Hyo. As she was freed, she could be seen scrambling to get away from the bugs. Her legs gave way multiple times in terror, and it looked as if she was genuinely traumatized by the incident.
The episode was not taken well. Netizens criticized the staff for the punishment, feeling that they went too far by poking fun at Song Ji Hyo’s phobia.
“The production staff went too far.”
“Are they expecting us to get entertained from someone’s pain and suffering? What is wrong with the production staff?”
“Ji Hyo looks looks like she’s going to cry… The production staff should control the level of punishments. HaHa wasn’t even the one who orchestrated this… This is going too far… T_T”
Watch a clip from the episode below: