Song Ji-hyo' has tearful departure from 'Running Man'

Song Ji-hyo' has tearful departure from 'Running Man'
Song Ji-hyo, an actress and regular cast member of Korean variety show 'Running Man', as announced last week, will the leave the show.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

It was just last week when Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook were reported to be leaving Running Man, a popular worldwide Korean variety show in which they have been a part of for almost seven years.

The actress and singer's departure without prior notice, Kang Ho-dong's decision not to offer to the show another season and the plans to wrap-up the seven year-old show in February 2017 have become buzzing topics among fans following the news.

However, a Korean entertainment industry official has revealed this is not all.

"Because the members have big love for Running Man and because they [the cast] have spent seven years together in a family-like atmosphere, these chain of events have scarred her," the official spoke about Song, as quoted by Korean news agency OSEN on Saturday.

The official continued, "After she heard about the news, Song Ji-hyo had a very hard time, to the point where she cut off all contact and cried her eyes out."

Popular Korean game show Running Man - Gary Kang and Song Ji Hyo who made up the Monday Couple.Photo: ONE

Rapper Kang Gary, who had left the show in October and was regarded as part of the "Monday Couple" with Song reportedly shut down his Instagram after the news of Song and Kim's departure controversy broke. He then returned to the platform with a black and white photo showing an image of him, Song and Kim sitting side by side.

In the caption, he wrote, "You have worked really, really, really hard and thank you".

Song and Kim had just announced that they will be donating the rest of their Running Man appearance fees.

Running Man stars Song Ji-Hyo and Kim Jong Kook reportedly booted off show

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    Fans and cast members of hit Korean variety show Running Man can't seem to catch a break.

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    Last week, the show made headlines when it was announced that two of its cast members Song Ji-Hyo and Kim Jong Kook would be leaving.

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    In less than 24 hours, reports of how the two stars were actually booted off the show surfaced.

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    Several Korean media outlets reported that the two stars were "blindsided" and may not have been as involved in discussions about their departure from the show.

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    According to online news site Koreaboo, Song's agency has since released a statement addressing the issue, adding that "it is true there was a lack of active communication from the production crew in the steps leading up to (Song) leaving the show."

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    Kim's agency also announced that reports of the singer "leaving the show one-sidedly" were also true and that the situation is "regrettable".

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    And now it's been revealed that Song was deeply affected by her removal, especially since she apparently did not know about it until the day news broke.

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    Entertainment website Koreaboo reported that a source close to Song disclosed the extent of her despair upon hearing the news and revealed that she had a very difficult time following the news.

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    Song was part of the show's popular 'Monday Couple' along with rapper Gary, who quit the show in October. Her onscreen boyfriend shut down his Instagram page after the controversy.

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    The actress and singer are reported to be donating their remaining appearance fees to charity following their departures from the variety show Running Man.

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    "Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook have agreed to collect their income from the appearance fees that they will receive starting from next week to the end of the programme in February to give to the public," said Song's agency spokesperson, as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday.

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    The spokesperson also said that the donation's details were still being discussed. Kim's agency has also confirmed the plan.

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    Following the news of the departures, Kang Ho-dong, an entertainer slated to join the show's new season decided to back out from the show.

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    His management said: "We don't know all the details of the situation, but Kang Ho Dong doesn't want his casting to cause viewers any discomfort."

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    Running Man will come to an end by February next year, as announced by SBS, the network that airs the show.

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    Kim and Song also confirmed that they would be re-joining Running Man until the end of the series.

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    According to Koreaboo, Song's agency added that she wishes to end things on a good note for the fans and stay loyal to her fellow cast members.

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    Over the years, both the show and its stellar cast have gained fans all over Asia and even the Middle East with several episodes filmed abroad in countries such as Australia, Shanghai, Vietnam and Dubai.

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