After more than a decade, Lee Kwang-soo is bidding farewell to the hit South Korean variety show Running Man.
Kwang-soo’s agency Starship Entertainment announced his departure from the show through a statement released on Tuesday, April 27.
In the statement, Starship confirmed the departure of the actor as well as his final appearance set to be filmed on the 24th of May.
The famous actor’s agency cited health reasons due to a car accident as the reason behind his exit.
It can be recalled that the It’s Okay, That’s Love actor was involved in an accident in February 2020.
“Lee Kwang-soo will be stepping down from SBS’s Running Man. His last recording will take place on May 24. He has been steadily undergoing rehabilitation treatment since his injury from the accident last year, but it has been difficult for him to be in perfect condition during the recordings,” the statement read as translated by Korean entertainment site Soompi.
“After long discussions between the members, producers, and his agency since the accident, it was decided that he will take some time to take care of his body and mind. We sincerely thank you for sending so much love and attention to Lee Kwang-soo on Running Man,” the statement continued.
Meanwhile, SBS also released a statement following the announcement of his departure from the show.
“The Running Man members and production team have been steadily discussing Lee Kwang Soo’s resignation from the program for a long time, and we will respect Lee Kwang Soo’s decision to step down,” the statement read as translated by Korean entertainment site Soompi.
“Since his car accident last year, Lee Kwang Soo has been going through rehabilitation for his leg, and even when he was not in the best of health, he undertook both the rehabilitation treatment and Running Man recordings at the same time out of his love and responsibility for the show. However, despite Lee Kwang Soo’s efforts, it was not easy for him to do both at once, and he spoke about his concerns with the members and production team,” SBS added in its statement.
While the cast and production team wanted Kwang-soo to stay, SBS revealed that it respected the actor’s decision to step down from his role on the show.
“The members and production team would have liked to continue with Lee Kwang Soo on Running Man for a longer time, but as Lee Kwang Soo’s opinion as a member of Running Man is important, we have decided to respect his decision after a long period of discussion. We are unfortunately faced with a beautiful goodbye, but we ask the viewers to show warm support and encouragement to Lee Kwang Soo and the members who made a difficult decision,” SBS stated in its statement.
“The Running Man members and production team will also cheer on Lee Kwang Soo, an ‘eternal member.’ Thank you,” the statement ended.
Lee Kwang-Soo is also known for appearing in various hit comedy films such as Confession, Collective Invention, Inseparable Bros, among others.
The cast of Running Man was supposed to visit Manila last year, but the event was postponed due to concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.