KBS 2TV has responded to the backlash they have been receiving for casting single mom, Fujita Sayuri (commonly known as Sayuri).
Just a week ago, KBS 2TV’s The Return of Superman announced that they had added television personality, Sayuri as the newest parent to the show’s lineup. Sayuri previously made headlines for having a child using a sperm donor, making her the first entertainer in the Korean industry to do so. The 41-year-old television personality shared that she had always wanted to be a mother, but due to her singleness and age, she felt the pressure of society’s clock. This resulted in her decision to use a sperm donor and back in November, Sayuri welcomed a healthy baby boy.
The popular Japanese television personality has been updating her fans on her newfound motherhood through her Instagram page, which caught the eyes of The Return of Superman producers. While her fans have been anticipating her participation in the show, some netizens were opposed to her casting decision. Many have expressed their concerns in having a single and unmarried mother on the show.
The backlash of Sayuri’s casting decision made itself all the way to the Blue House, where a petition was created to stop the airing of the show with her appearance.
The creator of the petition explained further why they personally believe that Sayuri should be removed from the show.
Currently, Korea is struggling with a low birth rate, which is a problem on its own. In addition to that, people aren’t getting married as before. Economically, it’s been tough on the youth since the unemployment rate has been enormous. In times like this, public broadcasting systems should be encouraging the correct family views, marriage and normal childbirth.
— Blue House petition for Sayuri’s removal
In light of the backlash, KBS 2TV has finally responded to the requests of Sayuri’s casting cancellation. A representative explained that they would be keeping Sayuri in the show’s lineup and why they believe it’s important to do so.
The claims stating that The Return of Superman encourages unmarried relationships due to Sayuri’s recent casting decision are excessive. Our times are changing and there are different types of families among us. Sayuri’s situation and her family is one of them. We want our audience to observe this type of family through this casting decision. We are not encouraging unmarried relationships or pregnancies.
While we may think more deeply about our stance, we will not be cancelling Sayuri’s upcoming appearance on our show.
— KBS 2TV representative
The producers of The Return of Superman previously shared the meaning behind their show’s title, stating that “the ‘Superman’ in our title refers to the first hero a child meets after their birth.” Sayuri may be a single mother, but she is also a “superman” for her son, Zen. While no airing date has been revealed, we can’t wait for her upcoming appearance on the show.