Netflix dating reality series Single’s Inferno may have concluded its run, but the hype is far from over. The dating show has continued to take over headlines nationwide, as the popularity of the series and the contestants only climb up the ranks. In light of the ongoing success of the show, the two producers of the program sat down for an interview to discuss all the ins and outs of the hit reality program.
On January 11, Single’s Inferno producers Kim Jae Won and Kim Na Hyun sat down for an online interview with WikiTree, where they shared the behind-the-scenes intel of the recruiting process.
Producer Kim Na Hyun revealed that the production team made sure to look for people who “knew their own charms and were honest” for potential contestants, while confirming that they didn’t have any “restrictions” regarding the status of the person they recruited.
There were no restrictions that made us cast people who were just ordinary citizens or people who were unrelated to the entertainment industry. We didn’t put any restrictions on that because we believed that we should hire people who knew their own charms and were honest.
— Producer Kim Na Hyun
Producer Kim Jae Won agreed with Kim Na Hyun by sharing that “it didn’t matter” if someone had previous experience working in the entertainment industry, just as long as they “fit the color of the program.” The producer also revealed his exact recruiting methods, which involved a lot of Instagram DMs.
It didn’t matter if they had previously appeared on a television show or if they promoted on YouTube. As long as they fit the color of the program and they were honest people, we recruited them for the show.
I recruited a lot through Instagram DMs (direct messages). I would receive recommendations from my acquaintances, which is when I would post a casting notice. If I ever hit a wall in the midst of the recruiting process, I would go out onto the streets and hand out casting flyers. I did everything I could to ensure I found cast members whose images fit with the program.
— Producer Kim Jae Won
Korean dating programs have been widely loved prior to Single’s Inferno‘s premiere on Netflix and they have always been well-received. However, there have been numerous instances of contestants being accused of different controversies, which would ultimately tarnish the show’s image.
Channel A‘s Heart Signal 3 is just one example of this. The third season of the nationwide hit was previously met with extreme backlash after several of the contestants were accused of school bullying, violence, criminal activity, and more. Korean netizens criticized Channel A for not vetting their contestants properly, as allegation after allegation continued to be made.
Due to these reoccurring instances, Netflix went through an intense verification system, which producer Kim Jae Won explained a bit more during his interview. The Single’s Inferno producer shared that Netflix had a “vigorous systemized verification process” that took a long time to complete.
Netflix had a vigorous systemized verification process. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you too much detail, but I will say it was a very difficult process. It took a long time to cast someone, and it took a long time for the verification to go through.
All of the potential contestants consulted with a specialist before they started recording. This was to make sure they were allowed to participate on the reality show and only those who passed the consultation were left to participate in the recording.
— Produce Kim Jae Won
While Netflix vetted their dozen participants before the show even began recording, a controversy still managed to find itself in the headlines once Single’s Inferno began to garner hot attention. Following the premiere of the show, sudden rumors about one of the male contestants Choi Si Hun began to circulate online, shocking all of the viewers.
According to news sites, the Single’s Inferno contestant was rumored to have once worked at a host bar as a waiter. Oftentimes, these host bars are associated with sex work, as wealthy clients come into the bars to pay the young waiters for their time and to potentially receive some type of sexual favor as an exchange.
Due to this negative stigma around host bars and being a host waiter, Choi Si Hun was met with immense backlash from the public as the accusations about his alleged past took over the internet. However, the Single’s Inferno contestant quickly cleared the air with his personal statement that denied all of the rumors.
Regarding the situation, producer Kim Jae Won shared their view, stating that each of the “cast members underwent sufficient verification,” thus they were never worried about the rumors.
Our cast members underwent sufficient verification so I wasn’t too worried about it. They [the rumors] weren’t even true.
— Producer Kim Jae Won
Netflix’s Single’s Inferno premiered back on December 18, 2020 and aired its finale episode on January 8, 2021. The reality dating show became an overnight success, as the program broke records with its viewership ratings. The show became the first ever Korean reality series to break into Netflix’s “top 10” ranking, proving its popularity.