Outrage after S Korean contestant lambasted on Asia's Next Top Model

South Korean contestant Kim Sang-in strikes a pose Image copyright Facebook: AsNTM
Image caption Popular contestant Sang-in from South Korea was in tears during last night's episode

The treatment of a South Korean contestant in the latest episode of TV show Asia's Next Top Model has sparked a backlash on social media.

Kim Sang-in, 23, made a tearful apology to Subaru executive and guest judge Glenn Tan after he lambasted her for rolling her eyes during a photo shoot.

The shoot involved models posing around a convoy of cars from Subaru, one of the show's main sponsors.

After Mr Tan's outburst, viewers expressed their anger online.

Hundreds of angry fans flooded the show's official Facebook page with strongly worded comments to defend the South Korean model after the show on Wednesday night.

Sam Gollestani, the show's executive producer, said the incident highlighted the "emotions and tensions that occur during the competition".

"Glenn provides the perspective of a client when choosing a model to front campaigns for products, which is why he was invited to be a guest judge this season," he said.

"This scene is reflective of what considerations go into making these decisions when working in the fashion and modelling industry."

Image copyright Facebook: AsNTM
Image caption Subaru Executive Director Glenn Tan (pictured extreme left) expressed his anger at Ms Kim and shouted at her on set

A snippet of the incident, uploaded on to the show's Facebook page, has drawn more than 1,000 angry reactions from fans.

In the full episode, broadcast on Wednesday night, Ms Kim is shown looking away as Mr Tan arrives at the scene of the photo shoot challenge among the convoy of cars.

He is later shown confronting her about that moment.

"Who do you think you are to roll your eyes at me?" he says. "I would never ever hire you."

The contestant breaks down in tears and offers an explanation and apology, followed by a traditional Korean bow.

Cherry Mae Galiza, a viewer from the Philippines, wrote on Facebook it was the show's "worst cycle ever", saying Mr Tan had been "very unprofessional".

"I've had enough," she added.

"Just because he is a sponsor does not mean he can yell at a girl like that," said Lucas Tai in Malaysia.

Image copyright Facebook: AsNTM
Image caption Fans of the show have come out in full support of Ms Kim, and praised her maturity in handling the situation

Another fan from Singapore called for official action from the show.

"All the judges should be ashamed of themselves, for allowing a man like Glenn think that he can treat young models in that way and get away with it," he said. "I say strip Subaru of their sponsorship and ban Glenn from ever returning to the show."

The series is no stranger to controversy. A Muslim contestant from Malaysia recently hit back at critics who said it was "inappropriate" for her to compete in a TV modelling show.

While Ms Kim has not officially addressed the incident, she has uploaded her photo from the shoot, saying she still likes her picture.

The BBC has approached Subaru for comment.

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