Why did Kang Ho-dong backtrack on decision to join 'Running Man' season 2?

The TV personality refuses to join show following SBS's abrupt removal of Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-Kook

Kang Ho-dong
Kang Ho-dong Youtube.com/KBS World TV

Popular South Korean television host and comedian Kang Ho-dong who was supposed to join SBS TV's season 2 of the show 'Running Man' has now backtracked on that decision. He will not take part in the show.

As reported by Yonhap News, Kang Ho-dong's management agency SM C&C said on Thursday that the former top Korean traditional wrestler turned TV personality will not take part in the second season of the long running show.

Ho-dong's sudden decision comes only a day after SBS network had announced that he will join 'Running Man.' The comedian's agency released a statement that read "We feel hurt and sorry to tell you that we respectfully turn down the proposal." However, there was a reason behind his sudden decision to not join the show; it was the departure of the show's original members, actress Song Ji-hyo and singer Kim Jong-Kook.

It appears that Ho-dong being a veteran TV presenter himself, may not have personally taken the ousting of Ji-Hyo and Jong Kook in good faith, especially the fact that they were literally thrown out without prior notice. The official statement of his agency indicated at this in not so subtle terms; "Kang had deliberated the proposal for a long time before he finally decided to accept it. But we reached a conclusion that other circumstances that came after his decision have put him in an uncomfortable situation."

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Ho-dong's statement continued: "We don't know every detail of the situation. But the last thing we want is to create a situation where Kang's appearance would make the show's fans uncomfortable."The statement ended seeking an apology from fans as well as from SBS network officials – "We are deeply sorry to unwittingly cause confusion to all the fans, TV viewers and SBS officials."

Things are not looking well for 'Running Man' it seems. Gary had already said his goodbyes to the 'Running Man' team after his last day of shooting on 31 October this year. Following which, actress Song Ji-hyo and singer Kim Jong-Kook were booted out of the show, in what appears to be an extremely ungrateful decision taken by the producers without even informing the concerned parties beforehand. And now Kang Ho-dong has turned down SBS's proposal to join on season 2.

Hopefully, the producers of 'Running Man' have learned things the hard away and in the future will think twice before meting out such outright unprofessional treatment to those on whose shoulders the show stands. Not only have they lost three irreplaceable faces of the show, they have also been rejected by a famous TV personality who took issue with their ungrateful behaviour towards original members.

This article was first published on December 15, 2016