Go to contents

Reality TV Show on 4 Jet Setters Spark Backlash

Posted January. 07, 2010 09:03,   


“I think I spend about 30 million won (26,350 U.S. dollars) a month. I own a Phantom, a Mercedes-Benz and a Lamborghini.”

This is not the life of a rich man on a TV drama but that of someone who appeared on the cable TV reality show “PapaRich,” which will be aired on OnStyle from Sunday over eight weekly installments.

As the title suggests, the program features four Korean men in their 20s with rich fathers.

Two of the men are age 25, one 21, and the other 20. The father of one of them is a pediatrician who owns several hospitals across the country. Two are the grandsons of business tycoons.

The family background of the fourth man remains unknown, but Internet rumors say his father is an influential financier.

A trailer released on the program’s Internet homepage has one of the young men bragging that he spends 20 million won (17,567 dollars) a month. Another says he owns several foreign luxury cars.

The third says he can pay for a product worth 200 million won (175,670 U.S. dollars) in a lump sum, and the fourth says he exclusively drinks 30-year-old Ballantine`s whisky.

Those who watched the trailer blasted the four men for bragging about their wealth and lavish lifestyles, as well as the show’s producers.

As if expecting the public backlash against them, the four said in the trailer that they either expected to face criticism or that they did not care what others think of them.

The show`s production team, however, introduced the family company of one of the men as “M Dairy” in the trailer, but later referred to it as "a big company" apparently to protect the company.

Media critic Byeon Hee-jae said it might be meaningful to show how the children of upper-class parents live in a capitalist society, but warned that if the program shows their luxurious lifestyles only, it will fan class friction.