It seems that popular SBS variety show, ‘Running Man‘ will be losing more of their original cast. And this time, it seems that this one is an abrupt decision. It was confirmed by the producers of the show that, Kim Jongkook and Song Jihyo will be leaving the show after 6 years. Just this past October, original member Kang Gary also left to focus on his music career.
The ‘Running Man’ world has since been shaken up following the news. It was revealed that the decision to leave may not have been mutual and that the members were informed last minute. In a statement from Jihyo’s agency they stated that, “We knew Running Man would go through changes from SBS but it is true that we only found out from news reports which members would not be invited back. We do not want to comment on Song Jihyo’s feelings but it is not our official stance that it was not a good farewell.
There is a definite road she needed to walk as an actress and considered leaving the show so it [seemed] natural to leave the show during the season-change. However, it is true there was a lack of active communication from the production crew in the steps leading up to Song Jihyo leaving the show. There is a lot of regret emotionally but as it is the production’s decision, we will humbly accept it.”
Kim Jongkook’s agency also released a statement informing that “2 weeks ago there was talks of a change in formatting and the co-producer visited the set to mention it again. There was still no talks of member changes back then. However, on December 12th they called in Kim Jongkook to tell him he was out. Song Jihyo only found out today after reports came out. It’s true everyone knew that a change was in order due to the fact that the ratings were going low but this type of good bye doesn’t only hurt the producers it wounds the artists as well.”
Controversy has spread due to the producers’ decision, and the above statements. In addition to this unsettling news, it was rumored that comedian Kang Hodong would be joining the show. However, this has not been confirmed. In light of the news, past member Kang Gary also shut down his official Instagram suspiciously around the same time the news was revealed. Though it has not been confirmed by Gary’s agency, but it’s been speculated that this was a result of his disagreement to both members’ departure.
Since the news and controversy began, the ‘Running Man’ production team has finally spoken up with an official statement with their stance on the situation. They have issued an official apology to both members:
“We would like to address the controversial changing of the members for Running Man. We were aiming at launching a “Season 2″ in late January 2017 but are still in the process of completion. Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo have been uneasy about the unexpected reorganization. We have hurt the two members, Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo, who we have treated like family for 7 years. We sincerely apologize to you for that… We apologize to both of you for not treating you more thoughtfully and not taking your feelings into consideration, and apologize to the other Running Man members who may have been confused by this incident.”
🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻 [ Shooting scene picture of RunningMan Ep.303 'RunningMan Hunting' ] Spartace #KimJongKook & #SongJiHyo. RM Ep.303 on June 12 at 6:30pm KST on #SBS. 🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻 [ 런닝맨 제303회 '런닝맨 사냥' 촬영 현장 사진 ] #김종국 & #송지효. 런닝맨 제303회 6월 12일 일요일 오후 6시30분 방송. ••• #BehindTheScenes #RunningMan #RM #런닝맨 •••
Despite this sad news, fans will continue to love and support “Sparta’s” Kim Jongkook and “Ace” Song Jihyo!
What are your thoughts on Kim Jongkook and Song Jihyo’s departure from ‘Running Man?’ Let us know in the comments below!
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Edited by: Gigi E.