The Korea Herald


Chinese viewers still upset with Lee Hyo-ri over ‘Mao’ quip

By Lim Jang-won

Published : Aug. 25, 2020 - 12:27

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Lee Hyo-ri proposes Mao as a character name on Saturday’s episode of “Hangout With Yoo.” (MBC) Lee Hyo-ri proposes Mao as a character name on Saturday’s episode of “Hangout With Yoo.” (MBC)

Chinese viewers remained unappeased and continued to demand an apology after the producers of the MBC program “Hangout With Yoo” posted a statement Monday about a comment that singer Lee Hyo-ri made on Saturday’s episode.

The problem arose when Lee suggested Mao as the name of her character in “Hangout With Yoo.”

“Let’s make a Chinese to be more global. How about Mao?” said Lee on Saturday’s episode.

Lee’s statement infuriated many Chinese viewers, who complained on the celebrity’s Instagram account that she was making fun of a respected figure in Chinese history, communist leader Mao Zedong.

On Monday, the show’s producers posted a statement on Instagram regarding the incident.

“Although we had no intention of alluding to the individual mentioned in the concerns raised, we have edited out that section of the program for paid-replay-services in order to stop any more misunderstanding,” said the producers. “We will try to be more careful and sincere in making the programs.”

The name of Lee’s character, already decided, is something else, the producers said.

However, the announcement further angered the Chinese viewers. They responded that there was no apology in the statement and that Lee had not apologized in person.

“Although it wasn’t intentional, shouldn’t there be an apology if it made (her) international audience angry?” said one comment beneath the announcement in Chinese. “Lee should stop hiding behind the producers and face her mistake. It’s her responsibility.”

Chinese viewers also continued to flood the comments section on Lee’s personal Instagram account after Monday’s statement, telling her off for deleting comments and for remaining silent on the issue.

“The program team simply deleting part of the content is not the end, and we now ask you and the people involved to make a sincere public apology,” said one comment under one of Lee’s posts.

By Lim Jang-won (