An Open Letter to SBS: Please Don't Take Down Our Fansubs

Subject: An Open Letter to SBS: Please Don't Take Down Our Fansubs
From: Running Man fan
Date: 27 Mar 2015

Dear SBS,

The most recent news that broke out is that you've been taking down Running Man fansubs done by, one of the leading subbers for most of the Korean variety shows around. This is, frankly, terrifying for an international fan like me because for the past year, kshownow has been my go-to place in order to get my weekly fix of Running Man. To not be able to watch my favoritest variety show in the world would definitely leave me...distraught.

The thing is, a large number of the international fanbase for Running Man regularly go to kshownow every Monday for their Running Man fix. kshownow has been one of the fastest and most efficient subbers for Running Man every single week, and for a lot of the international fans, this is something akin to watching a weekly drama. The happiness, the joy that Running Man brings on a weekly basis to people from all over the world cannot be overlooked.

Here are some facts about the international fanbase. Running Man has had sold out fanmeetings in countries like Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. The international episodes in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam had legions of hardcore fans surrounding all the members wherever they went, even without any prior news leaking. Remember Hong Kong's Langham Palace, when Running Man PDs had to beat a hasty retreat due to the packed shopping mall?

I would attribute that to the power of the fansub. See, not many people understand the Korean language, beautiful as it may be. Without the fansubs, it's close to difficult to follow what is going on. There are a lot of jokes, spoken and written on the screen, and the more difficult missions sometimes need a lot of explanation (even in English). Fansubs are there to help those who are Korean illiterate to understand and in many cases, enjoy the show for what it is, an awesome blend of variety, humor and cast interaction.

These guys work round the clock to provide translations and to do the actual subbing of the episodes, for the rest of us who don't really understand the hilarious jokes that Jae-suk is saying to Kwang-soo without subtitles. It's done by the fans, for the fans. Plus, I don't see how taking down fansubs would be beneficial in anyway.

If it's about the ratings, then here's the thing. International fans don't have a say in the Korean ratings after all, but if we did, I think Running Man will have pretty high ratings week in, week out. I know fans who would watch the show twice, once through the official online streaming portal, and once when kshownow releases it the next day. Many fanpages have dedicated themselves, and their millions of fans, to watching the show on Sunday night (through official streaming sites), in order to help boost the ratings. That's how much we love the show.

Ultimately, fansubs are done for the fans, by the fans. From translations to proofreading to hardsubbing, everything is hard work. But the fact that kshownow is able to successfully do everything within the span of 24 hours proves how much hard work and dedication goes into making the rest of us fans happy for the entire week.

If you need even more convincing, here is a petition set up, with 17,781 signatures as of this point in writing. I would expect more fans to join in the cause and to petition for the more awesome and dedicated fans (who know Korean, no less) to be allowed to continue subbing Running Man episodes. SBS, you have come up with one of the greatest variety shows ever (in my humble opinion), so why not allow the international fans to continue supporting the show in the best way possible?

A (Korean illiterate) Running Man fan