E-Junkies: Kim Hee-chul would lie about celebrity status to be ‘seen for who he is’

Kim Hee-chul exudes ‘main character energy’.

Dressed head-to-toe in a red plaid and floral suit with a head of curly auburn hair, the K-pop idol and frequent variety show host however wishes he could pass off as a non-celebrity.

In a recent regional press conference for the new Disney+ reality dating show Pink Lie, Hee-chul, a member of the boy band Super Junior, said that if he were a contestant, he would tell others that he isn’t a celebrity. 

“I’m a quiet businessman who works in the IT industry,” he lied. “You don’t think anyone would believe me?”

Elaborating to AsiaOne later on, Hee-chul explained: “In South Korea, if I meet someone, they’d probably know that I’m a celebrity. 

“But if I get to meet someone who doesn’t know, I think that person can see me for who I am.”

The 39-year-old conceded, striking a pose: “If you look at the attire I’m wearing and my hair, I probably look like a celebrity.”


Hee-chul co-hosts Pink Lie with actress Lee Sun-bin, actor Song Won-seok and YouTuber RalRal. 

In the show, contestants — four men and three women — tell a lie about themselves and the goal is to find a partner they are comfortable sharing the truth with. The first two episodes have been released and in the first, one of the female contestants admitted to viewers she acted in adult movies. 

The hosts also admitted that the contestants allowed them the opportunity to reflect on their preconceived biases.


RalRal, 29, said: “I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character. Just from the way someone moves, I can tell if this person is an athlete, or for example, someone from a very traditional Confucian family. 

“But when it comes to Pink Lie, none of my assumptions were right.”

Hee-chul agreed: “All four of us were confident that we were fairly objective and sharp but as you will find out, we were so terrible — we were just so full of prejudices. I feel bad.”


The show had the hosts enamoured. Initially not knowing what was going to unfold, the hosts became sleuths just like the viewers of any reality show.

“We would have a group chat and try to guess what happens next as if we were all private investigators,” Hee-chul said, adding that he liked reality dating shows because “I like to feel satisfaction through other people”.

From RalRal proclaiming that the contestants look straight out of a Korean movie, to 33-year-old Won-seok wanting selfies and autographs with them, it’s safe to say that the show made a big impact on the hosts.


But does this mean the hosts would be ok with couples lying to each other?

Sun-bin, 28, told AsiaOne: “I do not like lies in general, but depending on the intention of the lie and how much I love this person, I’dl think about whether I should forgive them or not.”

To RalRal, context matters as well: “If the person didn’t mean bad, I think it’ll be ok.”

“Maybe once?” Hee-chul pondered.

Won-seok, however, declared adamantly: “I say a definite no to lies!”

Pink Lie is a reality dating show streamed exclusively on Disney+.

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