The producer of “Physical: 100” recently declared that the hit Netflix reality show’s upcoming second season will not hold separate, gendered challenges.
About the show: “Physical 100” features 100 Korean contestants in top physical shape who compete in grueling fitness challenges for the chance to win a cash prize of 300 million won (approximately $245,000).
Season 1 of “Physical 100,” which premiered on Jan. 24, became Netflix’s most-watched non-English show for two consecutive weeks. The nine-episode season saw the triumph of Woo Jin-yong, a 37-year-old CrossFit athlete and former professional snowboarder.
Controversy: After his grand win, netizens accused Woo and the show of having rigged the series finale. Meanwhile, other contestants were accused of bullying and domestic violence. Viewers also raised concerns about the brutality seen between male and female contestants, with some advocating for gendered competitions.
Vigorous screening: In a press conference on Aug. 9, producer Jang Ho Ki revealed that the show’s production staff messaged possible contestants on Instagram and also took recommendations from people they knew for Season 2. While Season 1 featured athletes and celebrities, the contestants were reportedly not screened carefully.
To avoid further scandals, Jang shared that the show’s production staff took more time to vigorously screen the new contestants’ backgrounds and meet them beforehand.
“It was necessary to check because the participants might find themselves in unintentional difficulties. Also, we are making our utmost efforts to avoid infringing on the human rights of the participants. I think there won’t be the same issues [with the contestants] in Season 2,” Jang said, according to AllKpop.
“Most perfect physique”: Jang also addressed the controversy surrounding gender on the show, saying that female and male contestants will continue to compete against one another in challenges that will be more “focused on modern construction.”
“The purpose of our program is to explore what the most perfect physique is. So, it would be prejudiced to divide the genders in the first place,” Jang declared, adding that contestants are aware of and agree to the competing of different genders on the show.
“Rather than approaching the game saying, ‘Because you’re a female, the male can only use a part of his strength,’ we decided to focus on the basic theme of the show. Also, we focused on certain risks that can arise due to elements or certain characteristics of the participants. We approached the games so we can proceed in the safest way.”
Other details: Netflix previously revealed that the set for Season 2 will be much bigger than that of Season 1, which was the size of two soccer fields. The upcoming season’s official release date has yet to be announced.