Following his heartbreaking exit from the hit variety show, Running Man, last year, Kang Gary will allegedly make a comeback to the show. This is amidst the cancellation controversy that involves his Monday Couple partner Song Ji Hyo and friend Kim Jong Kook.
According to reports, the 38-year-old rapper will be making an unexpected return to Running Man that surprised not only his fans but the entire staff of the show as well. On January 17, Gary allegedly participated in filming the special episode which will feature his surprise comeback, Koreaboo reports.
The source also added that the episode would also highlight the reaction of the unsuspecting Running Man crew upon Gary’s return. Lee Hwan Jin, the show’s producer, revealed that everything was kept secret from everyone. Gary’s comeback will be aired on January 29.
“The episode is set to air 2 weeks later so it’s difficult for me to tell you the content of it but it was kept very secret so everyone was surprised. It will be filled with secrets and surprises so please look forward to it.”
[Breaking] Gary will be making a comeback to Running Man for a special episode! This will air on January 29th. pic.twitter.com/NtQkM8sZm5
— SBS Running Man 런닝맨 (@RunningManGuest) January 17, 2017
It can be recalled that Gary officially bid goodbye to Running Man on October last year during the show’s 324th episode titled “The Messy Special.” He briefly made a guest appearance on the next episode, which proved his close relationship to its cast. Apparently, Gary decided to leave Running Man to focus on his music career.
“Gary expressed his desire to focus on his music studies and revealed that he wants to invest more time in music. The ‘Running Man’ producers decided to respect Gary’s decision to pursue his main field as a musician. We sincerely appreciate Gary who has given great effort for ‘Running Man’ as the original member for the past 7 years.”
Among the cast of the show, one of the most affected by Gary’s exit was his other half as the Monday Couple, Song Ji Hyo. The 35-year-old actress was quite emotional upon Gary’s departure and even broke down during Gary’s last episode. The two have been working together for almost seven years and were able to establish a special friendship on and off screen.
“We’ve shared a lot of stories together. It’s a little regretful, but I will continue to cheer you on. Be well.”
And just recently, it was Gary’s turn to show his support for his Monday Couple partner when the news broke last month that Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook would be leaving Running Man. According to reports, Song Ji Hyo wants to focus on her acting career, especially with her a new movie coming up. The actress will have her hands full in the next few weeks as part of her promotional activities for her upcoming film, Super Express. Song Ji Hyo is expected to be out of the country most of the time due to the film. Meanwhile, Kim Jong Kook will allegedly focus on his solo music career, as well as Turbo’s comeback in the music scene.
Following reports that the two will leave Running Man, Gary purged his Instagram account as he deleted all his uploaded photos and unfollowed 145 people. Many speculate that Gary’s decision to shut down his account was caused by the real reason behind Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook’s departure on the show. Apparently, the two were allegedly removed from Running Man without prior notice. There were even claims that Song Ji Hyo was only informed about her departure after media outlets started reporting it.
They only found out today. https://t.co/Wr7HGFNUNQ
— Koreaboo (@Koreaboo) December 14, 2016
The controversial exit of Song Ji Hyo and Kim Jong Kook triggered negative reactions from their fans. Many avid viewers of the show were disappointed and outraged over the production’s treatment of both stars. The situation led the producers and cast of Running Man to conduct an emergency meeting to settle everything.
And it seems like the damage has been done. The show’s producer, Jung Cheol Min, revealed that they mishandled the communications, thus resulting in cast members being emotionally hurt. He also clarified that they focused too much on how to improve the show, and “things just went out of hand.”
“We used to be like family but now things are awkward between us. Even during the meeting today we were all saying ‘Why has it come to this?'”
In the end, producer Lee Hwan Jin declared that the cast and crew agreed to end Running Man with a blast by the end of February 2017.
“We are still close but I couldn’t avoid being saddened by how they were hurt all because of misunderstandings. We decided that things shouldn’t end this way and that it’s only right we end things right together,” he added.
Check out more of Gary when he returns to Running Man for the last time before the show bids goodbye next month. For now, relive the funny moments of the gang in the video below.
[Featured Image by 런닝맨 RunningMan/Facebook]