BLACKPINK’s Jisso and Jung Hae-in’s K-drama Snowdrop is facing controversy once again after its premiere on Dec 18.
In March, rumours circulated of the K-drama’s synopsis that angered netizens.
Snowdrop occurs during a pivotal point in South Korean history during the Democratic movement.
Netizens petitioned for the K-drama’s cancellation.
They believed it distorts historical facts and glamorizes a main character who is a spy.
JTBC responded to the rumours and proceeded with the drama.
Since its premiere, netizens have petitioned again for its cancellation.
What Is This Kdrama About?
Snowdrop takes place in the backdrop of the 1987 Democatrica Movement in South Korea.
The protests and actions of citizens called for a stop to an authoritarian government and pushed for the first democratic elections.
The K-drama begins with Im Soo-ho (Jung Hae-in).
He stumbles into an all-female dormitory after being wounded.
Soo-ho happens to meet freshman Eun Young-Ro (Jisoo).
She willingly helps him hide from the government despite its serious repercussions.
But Soo-ho hides a secret that puts both of them in peril. Amid political turmoil, the two characters start to fall in love.
Why Is The Snowdrop Kdrama So Controversial?
The release of the first two episodes of the drama broadcast last weekend sparked strong criticism for its alleged distortion of historical facts about the nation's democratization movement.
In the drama, a female college student (Jisoo) mistakes the male lead (Hae-in) for a pro-democracy activist.
In March 2021, Snowdrop faced controversy as an unfinished synopsis circulated online.
The K-drama’s supposed storyline caught the attention of netizens who became angered over its distortion of historical facts.
Netizens created a petition to stop the production of the K-drama and its premiere.
JTBC addressed the Snowdrop K-drama controversy and explained netizens took parts of the synopsis out of context.
“Snowdrop is a black comedy that satirizes the presidential elections taking place in the 1980s under a military regime during the North-South tension on the Korean peninsula. It is also a melodrama about the young men and women who were victims of that situation,” said JTBC.
Based on the synopsis, netizens believed, “the male lead is a spy who has infiltrated the activist movement, while another male character is a team leader at the Agency for National Security.”
In their public announcement, JTBC explained netizens’ accusations are far from the truth about the K-drama’s storyline and not the intention of the production staff.
While Snowdrop has gained attention for its sweet and developing love story between Soo-ho and Young-Ro amid a tense atmosphere, the K-drama faces backlash.
After premiering two episodes, netizens brought back the original petition to have the K-drama canceled.
According to The South Korean Herald, a petition was posted on Cheong Wa Dae’s website.
The petition states JTBC’s original statement about the K-drama’s storyline is false.
JTBC claimed Snowdrop would not focus on the pro-democracy movement in its K-drama storyline.
“However, the female lead character saves the life of a North Korean spy after mistaking him as an activist in the pro-democracy movement in the first episode,” states the petition.
“Many activists were tortured and died after being falsely accused of being North Korean spies. I believe that the content of the drama defames the value and reputation of the democratization movement.”
Since its posting, the petition has received over 200,000 signatures.
It meets the requirements for Cheong Wa Dae to respond within 30 days.
JTBC responded and states the storyline will be resolved in future episodes.
Will JTBC Cancel The Drama After Receiving So Much Backlash?
Korean TV channel JTBC will not cancel the drama “Snowdrop,” starring Jung Hae-in and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, despite growing backlash from the Korean public.
JTBC, which blocked viewers’ comments by hiding the content on the “Snowdrop” bulletin board and blocking real-time chats on Naver, has defended the drama from criticisms.
“After the broadcast of ‘Snowdrop,’ the controversy has not subsided based on content that is different from the facts,” said JTBC.
“First of all, the background and motifs of major events in the drama ‘Snowdrop’ are the presidential elections during the military regime.
Against this background, it contains a fictional story that those in power must join forces with the North Korean regime to maintain power.
‘Snowdrop’ is a creation that shows the personal stories of those who were used and sacrificed by those in power,” it said.
JTBC explained that “there is no spy leading the democratization movement in ‘Snowdrop.’
The setting in which the male and female leads participated in or led the democratization movement did not appear in first and second episodes, nor does it exist anywhere in the future script.”
“Most of the misunderstandings due to concerns about ‘history distortion’ and ‘disparagement of the democratization movement,’ which many have pointed out, will be resolved in the drama’s progress,” it added.
It said, “It contains the production team’s intention not to repeat the abnormal era in which individual freedom and happiness were suppressed by unjust power.
It is unfortunate that we cannot reveal much of the plots before the episode airs, but we ask you to keep an eye on progress.”
“In addition, JTBC plans to listen to various voices by opening the real-time chat window on the portal site and on the official viewers’ bulletin board to hear valuable opinions about the content.
The core values that JTBC pursues are freedom of content creation and independence of production. Based on this, JTBC will continue to do its best to show good works in the future,” it said.
As of 2:20 p.m. on Dec. 21, the petition to stop the airing of “Snowdrop” has garnered 315,042 signatures.
Despite receiving such heavy backlash, JTBC is not planning to cancel the drama by telling their side of the story.
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