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[Newsmaker] KBS reporters slam sexual harassment on Rhyu’s show

KBS reporters on Wednesday called on former liberal politician Rhyu Si-min to take responsibility for inappropriate remarks made by a guest on Rhyu’s YouTube show.

During the live broadcast of the show “Alileo” on Tuesday, a reporter said prosecutors had leaked information about the investigation into former Justice Minister Cho Kuk’s family to a KBS reporter because they liked her.

“Prosecutors spilled out everything because they liked the KBS reporter. … They were very close,” the reporter said on the show, referring to the KBS reporter by name.

At the end of the show, Rhyu mentioned that his remarks could be viewed as sexual harassment. 

Former liberal politician Rhyu Si-min (Yonhap)
Former liberal politician Rhyu Si-min (Yonhap)

The reporter replied that he would like to apologize if his remarks made people uncomfortable, saying he had not intended to offend. He said that it was something people talked about a lot in private.

The production staff of “Alileo” also officially apologized to the KBS reporter.

However, the KBS Journalists’ Association on Wednesday criticized the guest’s remarks and urged Rhyu, chairman of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation, to take responsibility.

“It was obviously sexual harassment … and such comments were broadcast on a channel with 990,000 subscribers,” the association said in a statement.

“The person who made the remarks should think about how his words could hurt female reporters out there. … Rhyu must take responsible action as the host of his show. … We will see if he still has common sense and conscience as an intellectual.”

The guest’s remarks that people talked about it a lot in private were “sleazy,” the association added.

Earlier this month, KBS was at odds with Rhyu over accusations he made on his show against KBS. Rhyu said KBS had interviewed the asset manager of Cho Kuk’s wife and leaked the content to the prosecution instead of airing the interview.

Rhyu’s accusations against KBS and the sexual harassment incident on “Alileo” are expected to be among the main issues discussed during the parliamentary audit of KBS on Thursday.

By Kim So-hyun (