WINNER’s Minho Stirs Controversy on Mnet’s Show Me the Money 4

kpride, July 13, 2015, 9:04 a.m.

Controversy is growing around the cable television show “Show Me the Money 4,” fueled by problematic lyrics sung by Song Minho, a member of K-pop boy band WINNER.  Show Me The Money 4 is a South Korean television rap competition series held annually. First held in 2012, Show Me the Money has grown in popularity through its three seasons.

The concept of the show is to select a group of promising rappers from open auditions and whittle down that number through various assignments, with contestant survival dependent on the "producers," a group of experienced rappers who also serve as mentors. Eventually the rappers are divided into small teams headed by those producers. From there each contestant will face a different team's rapper in head-to-head single-elimination rounds where survival in the competition is dependent on votes from a live studio audience. In the third season, there was also a "Revival Round" in which contestants previously eliminated had a chance to continue in the competition.

In a recent episode, Song spouted in verse during a rap battle: “spread your legs wide as if you are at maternity clinic.” The words prompted criticism for being offensive to women in general, while defenders of Song say that it must not be taken seriously, as it is just a part of hip-hop language and culture.

The Korea Association for Obstetricians and Gynecologists has also issued an official statement, saying those lyrics caused offense and defamation of women and obstetricians who work hard for the sake of mothers and babies, calling for a heartfelt apology from the artist and his agency YG Entertainment.

“Our crew is putting our best efforts to produce the best show, yet we would like to apologize to those concerned, since we have made mistakes, arousing controversies over the lyrics that could be uncomfortable to the viewers,” said the show’s staff in a press release. 

Meanwhile, reports also said that K-pop boy group Block B’s Zico, who is one of the hosts of the show, will be back on the show. The singer had been under embroiled in a case where a member of his staff was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. The singer was released shortly after the incident, cleared of any suspicion.

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