SBS Hands Over Footage in Dating-Show Suicide

Broadcaster SBS has handed over raw footage from the blind-date program "Jjak" to police after a contestant killed herself during filming on Jeju Island last week.

A police spokesman said investigators want to check whether the woman suffered "undue pressure or humiliation" during filming of the typically adversarial program.

The contestants on the show, a Korean version of U.S. program "The Bachelor," are herded together in a hotel for weeks and filmed practically every waking moment.

Seogwipo police on Jeju told reporters Monday, "SBS staff told us they wanted to submit original footage from 'Jjak,' so we sent over a hard disc to copy it."

SBS previously declined to submit the raw footage amid criticism that it has engaged in selective editing to enhance the drama.

Police said two hours of footage shot before the suicide of the contestant, as well as mobile phone conversations and text messages she sent to family and friends were not enough to confirm that she was coerced into filming certain scenes. "But mobile phone records show she clearly felt uncomfortable when the cameras started followed her everywhere after she failed to find a partner," it said.

Police added that while SBS may hold some moral responsibility, "we have not spotted any violations of the law. We intend to check whether contestants were humiliated or forced to film certain scenes, which may constitute intimidation and coercion."

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 11, 2014 12:19 KST