In the March 15, 2020 episode of The Return of Superman, Gary took his son Hao to a boxing gym…
… and pranked Hao to believe that he passed out from a boxing match.
The episode showed Hao’s terrified reaction:
Please don’t let my dad die!
Hao was able to “bring Gary back to life” with a kiss…
… though he later shared in an interview that he “was really worried” about his dad and that he “still felt sad about the memory“.
Dad, you fell on the floor. Hao had to beg so you could come alive. I was really worried.
After the episode aired, agitated viewers voiced that the entire prank was too traumatic for a young boy Hao’s age.
- “Stop pulling bullsh*t like this on kids, like seriously.”
- “Geez… Using his own kid like this… I don’t even know where to begin.”
- “What a father for using his kid for television. Look at this nonsense, tsk tsk.”
When the criticism grew, the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) got involved.
After reviewing the case, the KCSC concluded on May 20, 2020 that the censorship agency will file an official warning with The Return of Superman for violating safe television broadcasting standards.
When a program involves children, there is a risk that the children become a source of entertainment — which in most cases then leads to the weakened protection of the children on set. As a public media, the television must consider the influences that the children will face as a result.
KCSC’s warning will not immediately change anything for The Return of Superman. When such warnings accumulate, however, it then becomes a possibility for KCSC to take more serious measures — such as charging fines, canceling episodes or shows, and even penalizing the production personnel in charge.
Watch the full clip below: