Hello Counselor for many is a very entertaining yet serious show that tackles a lot of life problems.
It involves celebrities to help out with the social problems that guests need help with. This brings both celebrities and non celebrities closer and creates a warm relationship or link between the two worlds. Yes, the normal day-to-day person supports their favourite celebrity. It is also nice to see and find that celebrities also care about the viewers/supporters.
However there has been questions concerning the legitimacy of the presenters’ roles on the show. Whether or not it would have been a better idea to have a panel of psychologist or people who are well-educated in the world of social problems and certain demographics.
In one of the episodes, there was a guest who, by the age of 20, his voice started getting raspy and eventually deep. Every time he was in public, civilians would assume that he was pretending to have such a voice and those who knew his voice was like that – imitated the way he spoke. This upset the man – hence he came to Hello Counselor to state his grievances and let the public know that it is his own voice. Now the presenters called in a specialist to have a look at the guest’s voicebox (which is a good thing). The specialist said there was nothing wrong with the guest’s voicebox or his voice. Everything was perfectly normal. But the presenters, instead of encouraging the guest to embrace his difference, they did everything they could to make him change the way he spoke. They asked him to smile more. Pronounce the words a certain way. No problem but what happened to the show encouraging people to accept themselves for who they are? What happened to uplifting people, reassuring them and helping them overcome their low self-esteem?
Another classic example would be when one guest had arrived and had weight problems. She was overweight. One of the presenters who is often teased for her weight commented on the fact that the female guest was pretty when she was thin. How is this counselling or helping the guest solve her problem?
When a Nigerian guest arrived on the show in one episode, one of the presenters when he was reading the Nigerian’s problem, decided to read the letter in a weird “African” (whatever African sounds to them) accent which was very derogatory and just rude. The problem here is that this is not the first African guest to appear on the show and certainly not the first individual to state that they are having problems with discrimination and stereotypes in South Korea. The presenters/hosts have talked about discrimination and stereotypes, stating that they were wrong and should not be done by anyone on anybody. However, they end up doing what they tell people not to do. People on YouTube have commented on the double standards of Hello Counselor’s hosts and the hypocrisy.
On an earlier episode (2016) Niel (a KPOP idol from the boyband Teen Top) was one of the celeb guest hosts. He has spoken about how he is treated in South Korea as an outcast because people there do not think he is Asian (due to his thick lips). When the hosts were introducing him, they commented and said something along the lines of him having “African” lips. Again, classic case of stereotyping and ignorant comments from the hosts.
The question here is, should Hello Counselor find new hosts who are professionals and will be able to give proper advice? Or should the current hosts be informed of their actions and try to be more understanding? The show all in all is great and funny but we cannot look past the ignorance that sometimes appears on the show.