The Korea Herald


MBC apologizes for featuring controversial singer Horan

By Lee Si-jin

Published : April 11, 2023 - 12:41

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An online apology is uploaded to the official website for “King of Masked Singer” on Monday (MBC) An online apology is uploaded to the official website for “King of Masked Singer” on Monday (MBC)

Terrestrial broadcaster MBC admitted to carelessness and apologized for featuring vocalist Horan on Sunday's prime time TV show “King of Masked Singer.”

While broadcasting the music show in which singers and celebrities compete while wearing masks, MBC released footage of Horan removing her mask and being interviewed about her upcoming albums, plans and concerts.

Controversy erupted Sunday night with viewers’ comments on the official website of “King of Masked Singer” criticizing the broadcaster for featuring the celebrity who has a record of drunk driving.

Horan, 43, was found to be driving drunk after bumping into a street cleaning vehicle, injuring the worker, in Gangnam, southern Seoul, in September 2016.

Horan (Herald DB) Horan (Herald DB)

The artist’s blood alcohol level was measured at 0.1 percent at the time, exceeding the license revocation level of 0.08 percent. She was fined 7 million won ($5,300).

As the incident marked her third such offense -- she was caught drunk driving in 2004 and 2007 -- public anger mounted, leading her to step away from all TV shows and withdraw from her band Clazziquai in 2016.Public outrage over the program was exacerbated by a drunk driving accident in Daejeon on Saturday in which four children were run over by a vehicle driven by an intoxicated driver in his 60s. The accident resulted in the death of a 9-year-old girl.

The “King of Masked Singer” production team issued an official apology Monday afternoon.

The two to three minutes of footage of Horan without her mask was deleted from the program on local streaming platform Wavve.

“King of Masked Singer” is one of the best-known Korean TV shows. Its format has been exported overseas and adapted to local markets in the US, Britain, Germany, France and more.