An internal row over the unheralded departure of two faithful members has intensified, clouding the future of Running Man, a popular TV variety show loved by many Asian fans.
Multiple media reports emerged Friday that an emergency meeting was held between producers and regular members about the show's survival. The meeting reportedly involved Yoo Jae-suk and Lee Kwang-soo as well as two outgoing members -- Song Ji-hyo and Kim Jong-kook.
Entertainment media Newsen said the members threatened to boycott the show's second season scheduled for release in January if Song and Kim are expelled. "In the worst-case scenario, every member is considering leaving the program. This is a matter of whether the show should exist or not," an insider was quoted as saying.
The producers dismissed rumors about the program's discontinuation and insisted on considering recruiting new stars to keep it alive. "It is not true that Running Man will discontinue. We are in talks with the original members about every possible way to keep the show running," they said in a statement.
Fans have slammed the producers for blindsiding Song and Kim. Kang Ho-dong, a former Korean wrestling champion and popular entertainer, has retracted his decision to join the show, claiming he did not know about the row.
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