South Korean dating show contestant killed herself on set

A contestant on South Korean dating series Jjak hanged herself with a hair dryer’s cord in the island house where the show is filmed, leading the network, SBS, to cancel the series. The woman, Jeon, was 29, and competing on a show that combined elements of Big Brother and The Bachelor.

The Korea Times reports that police are investigating, and that Jeon left a suicide note that referred to the nickname for the house and said:

“I want to end my life here. I am sorry. At the Love Village, the filming crew cared for me a lot. I thank them. But it’s too difficult now. Regardless of whether I meet a partner here or not, I have no will to live.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which cites reports from South Korea, “Jeon told her mother by phone that she felt ashamed of the way she was going to appear on the program and ‘wouldn’t be able to live in South Korea’ if it aired,” and notes that “local press have hammered the show for its bullying treatment of contestants, including a rule that requires them to eat meals alone when they are rejected by potential dates.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.