Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook to wrap up amidst plagiarism controversy

Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook wraps up after 13 years (Image via YouTube/KBS World TV)
Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook wraps up after 13 years (Image via YouTube/KBS World TV)

The well-known and celebrated talk show Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook will be filming its last episode on July 19 and broadcasting it on July 22, 2022.

The show’s host, Antenna Music label founder Yoo Hee-yeol and KBS announced that the show was wrapping up after serving the Korean music industry for 13 years. The yet-to-be-filmed episode, No. 600, will bid the viewers a farewell.

The news arrives a few weeks after the legendary 51-year-old singer was swept up in a plagiarism controversy. He was accused of plagiarizing the Japanese singer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Aqua for Very Personal, one of the songs from his latest piano project series.

Yoo Hee-yeol apologized for the unconscious plagiarism a few days after the controversy broke out. Although the Japanese singer also posted an official statement clarifying that the Korean legend did not plagiarize his work, Yoo Hee-yeol has decided to step down from the show and “will take time to reflect” on himself.

Legendary talk show Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook to film its last episode on July 19

Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook premiered more than a decade ago in 2009. The show is a bridge between music and talk shows, wherein each episode features 3-4 guests, primarily musicians. The artists chat with the multifaceted host and perform their songs. The program became a rite of passage for Korean musicians.

After 13 years of running, Yoo Hee-yeol announced that the Sketchbook talk show has come to an end. In a personal letter, the singer addressed the controversy and shared that he would like to take some time off after receiving a blow to his decades-old career due to it. An excerpt from his letter read:

“After seeing the numerous cases pouring in, I looked back on myself for the first time. I think what was the most heartbreaking to hear was that the time that has passed felt like it was being denied. It is to the extent that I cannot dare to imagine how great the sense of loss is.
There is a part of the current plagiarism allegations that I have difficulty agreeing with. Many of the allegations may be individual views and interpretations, but they are difficult for me to accept. I will look after myself more strictly so that a controversy such as this does not arise again.”

He expressed his gratitude to the viewers and staff of the program, who enjoyed and worked hard throughout the 13 years and three months the show was active.

He added that he wishes to complete the final recording of Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook as quickly as possible, to reduce any potential harm to the treasured show. The letter ended with him apologizing and taking a final bow.

“In order to minimize the harm to the program and the production team, we plan to carry out the final recording by this week. I will do my best [to fulfill] my remaining responsibilities so that no further damage is done.
I will take the time to reflect on where I am now and what is left for me to do without turning away. I apologize once more for causing concern to all the people who value music. Finally, I bow my head in gratitude to everyone who has trusted in me and treasured me, who is lacking, for a long time.”

The production team from KBS also shared a statement announcing that the last episode for Yoo Hee-cheol’s Sketchbook will be broadcast on July 22, 2022. They also thanked the viewers for their continuous support for Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook throughout the 13 years.

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Edited by Babylona Bora