After SBS' 'Joseon Exorcist' termination, calls to cancel BLACKPINK's Jisoo and Jung Hae-in 'Snowdrop' grow loud
'Joseon Exorcist' has been canceled by SBS despite production on the drama almost having come to an end. The reason is that the production had used props on the show which had reportedly hurt the sentiments of Korean audiences who believed that the show had tried to distort Korean history. There were certain props that were used to signify that Prince Chungnyeong had traveled as far as the lands that shared a border with Ming Dynasty. The controversy however snowballed and now, SBS, the network that airs the show has terminated its contract.
Following this, netizens now claim that Jung Hae-in and Jisoo's show 'Snowdrop' which is scheduled to air on JTBC is also going to misrepresent Korean history to BLACKPINK's international fans. As of now, the official synopsis of the show read as follows.
'Snowdrop' starring Blackpink's Jisoo: Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about K-drama series
'Joseon Exorcist' in controversy after premiere as viewers claim Chinese props on show distort Korean history
"The story begins when a young man Lim Soo-ho ((Jung Hae-in) covered in blood breaks into a dormitory at a women's university. A young nursing student Eun Young-cho (BLACKPINK's Jisoo) takes in the injured man and hides him from authorities, believing that he is a student protester. The two fall in love, but as the story progresses, the woman finds out that the man is a trained spy from the "motherland" (the synopsis does not specify which "motherland" they are referring to). The spy is then ordered to kill the woman who hid him from authorities."
The synopsis at the moment does not specify what the "motherland" means here and this has opened the show up for controversy and speculation. It has been revealed that the surname Lim and the name Youg-cho are based on real-life characters who were protesters. The protests continue to gain traction because this is a very important time in Korean history. The year 1987 was when many university students had protested to ask for fair democratic elections but were oppressed by the NIS (National Intelligence Services) which was then controlled by the dictator who was in power.
Many students had lost their lives in the fight and the NIS captured, tortured, and killed them. They claimed that these students were spies. It has been recorded, historically, that a few spies did disguise themselves as a protester during this period. Netizens have found many issues with the storyline. From the fact that the show seems to have romanticized the struggles by the protesters to the fact that the second male lead is a member of NIS.
Following this, scriptwriter Yoo Hyun-mi who passed out from university in 1988 has received major backlash especially because she was in university when the protests had taken place. Considering many students then are still fighting legally to prove their innocence, a movement has been created online, very similar to that of 'Joseon Exorcist'. Letters of complaint are being sent to JTBC and the production company to ensure that the drama doesn't air. However, what must be noted is that Hyun-mi is also the person behind 'Sky Castle', one of the most highly-rated shows.
However, international fans feel differently about this. Many are questioning why these people have taken issue with the show now when the synopsis had been made available earlier. Some are also pointing out that silencing storytellers is a sign of authoritarianism as well. One fan commented, "if these netizens really cared about justice for the protestors, they should’ve spoken up earlier about this. Them trying to boycott the drama now just tells me they want to add fuel to the fire and not actually solve anything."
Another added, "The irony of it all. Banning fiction is one of the early signs of authoritarianism. Weird that they're doing it in order to preserve the democracy that was hard-fought."
One fan wondered, "Do you really think they will cancel a drama series that cost millions of dollars to produce just because of few people who don't do anything but complain. This is stupid news." To this another responded, "Yeah they sure do. They are going to do it with joseon exorcist too just because there were some little objects and styles influenced by chinese historical dramas. Knetizens have their hands fully on broadcasting system in korea."