SEOUL, April 4 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean broadcasters have been hit with sexism charges from a media watchdog with their TV coverage of the PyeongChang Olympics.
Despite having been praised as the least sexist Winter Games in history, 30 cases of sexist comments in a total of 325 broadcasting programs were uncovered by the Korea Institute for Gender Equality Promotion and Education (KIGEPE).
According to the group’s monitoring report, all of the three major TV networks made problematic comments based on gender stereotypes, such as rating the appearance of athletes.
During the broadcast of a curling match, a male sports commentator on KBS said, ‘There have only been a few cases where a female athlete delivered a kill shot,” perpetuating stereotypes surrounding the physical traits of women, the KIGEPE said.
“Curling players wear makeup. Isn’t it better to look neat than messy?” a male news anchor on MBC said, a comment feared to perpetuate the stereotype that wearing makeup looks ‘cleaner’.
The gender ratio among sports commentators was found to be disproportionate, with female commentators accounting for only 24.8 percent of a total of 499 at the three major TV broadcasters.
“While the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics have been dubbed the Olympics of gender equality, on account of the highest number of women’s and mixed events, we learned there is a long way to go in the media coverage,” the KIGEPE said.
The KIGEPE is expected to submit the findings from its monitoring effort to the Korea Communications Standards Commission.