On December 3, Taiwanese host Jacky Wu gave a very controversial interview where he blamed Koreans for causing Godfrey Gao’s death. “The day Godfrey died, I was in Shanghai filming. The Koreans are responsible for it! I started swearing on set, Korean variety shows are so imbecilic, they had to cause this,” he ranted to the press.

He then talked about his own experience filming reality show 2 Days & 1 Night, which was heavily influenced by its Korean counterpart and which Jacky claims was the first reality show in China. “I felt very disgusted [filming that show],” he added. “I had to climb Mount Qingcheng, which has ten thousand steps, then [the producer] told me to climb it one more time to get more footage. That’s twenty thousand steps!”

His interview was widely discussed online and Jacky, who is no stranger to controversy, then went on Facebook Live the next day (Dec 4), to explain that he was directing the blame at Korean variety shows, which are notorious for their demanding production values, and for influencing the toxic work culture on Chinese variety show sets.

I clashed with the producer [of 2 Days 1 Night] because I almost died climbing the stairs the first time. When I reached the end, I could barely breathe. When Godfrey Gao died, I was filming and I felt very sad… why did I say that it was Korea who caused it? Because they are the originators! Every time they film [a show], they use 24 cameras, 30 cameras [to document every second and every angle]. I have been through that and I don’t think it’s necessary. An hour’s program needs to be edited from 1000 hours of footage. That was what I was talking about,” he said while reiterating that what he was criticising was the working methods of Korean variety shows.

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