A ground-breaking talkshow that would have featured interviews with transgender people every week has been pulled from a South Korean TV channel a week after it was launched.
XY That Girl, broadcast at midnight on KBS Joy, prompted protests from conservative groups who rallied outside the TV station and took out newspaper ads denouncing the show. The ads attacked KBS Joy for ‘fanning’ sexual diversity and warned ‘children will blindly follow in the steps of transgenders’, AFP reports.
Yesterday KBS Joy announced on the XY That Girl website that they were cancelling the show after ‘taking viewers’ opinions into account’.
South Korean society is socially conservative but recent successes of transwomen celebrities have suggested a broader acceptance.
Transwoman Harisu has built a successful pop career and a trans contestant was recently successful in the country’s version of TV show Next Top Model. Since 2006, trans people can legally correct their gender on all official documents.
Protests from Christian groups met Lady Gaga’s performance in South Korea in April pressurising the organizers to ban under 18-year-olds from the concert.
One of XY That Girl’s three presenters was Korea’s only openly gay celebrity Hong Seok-cheon, who was blacklisted from the industry after he came out in 2000. He has recently built his TV career back up but spoke in an interview in June about how the pressure has made it impossible to sustain a relationship.