Previously, it was reported that the upcoming K-Drama starring Jisoo From Blackpink, Snowdrop, was facing controversy due to its plotline and set-up appearing to “distort” Korean history and culture. The Korean public had not taken kindly to the premise and started petitions to cancel the drama on the basis of distorting history as well as romanticizing a sensitive issue.
The public accused the plotline of being a romanticization of North Korean spies as well as of the political landscape back in the 1980s. Previously, many students were massacred during politic rife in the times of the Gwangju Democratic Movement.
Snowdrop‘s previously released premise was based on a North Korean spy who is mistaken as a student protestor. Injured, he ends up at a women’s university dorm where a female student nurses his wounds and hides him. The public took issue with the fact that many student protestors during the Democratic Struggle were unfairly tortured by military troops who used the excuse that these students were spies from the North.
The set-up of the male lead being an actual spy who is mistaken as a protestor would be a disrespect to the actual protestors who died in history. Other problems that arose included the choice of name for the female lead. The name Young Cho is an uncommon name and the actual name of a significant figure in history. Young Cho was an activist who fought against authoritarianism in Korea in the 1980s.
BLackpink’s main vocalist Jisoo has taken up the lead role in the series and her character’s name in the upcoming series was similar to that of a prominent figure in the 1987 student protests in South Korea, Chun Young Cho. She now will have her character name in the upcoming drama Snowdrop changed.
South Korean broadcast company JTBC released a statement saying that although the character’s name is not related to the activist, they will change it since it’s been pointed out that it’s similar. Snowdrop, which is scheduled to air in the second half of this year, began facing criticism after the series synopsis was circulated online recently.
Blue House’s Statement about Snowdrop’s Petition
As petitions to stop the airing of Snowdrop were sent in, The Blue House decided to release an official response to the matter.
The Blue House addressed the petitions that moved to stop the airing of dramas that distort history, naming Snowdrop and Joseon Exorcist in particular.
“On March 26, after taking into consideration the severity of historical distortion in Joseon Exorcist, it was decided for the show to be taken off air. For Snowdrop, the broadcasting station that plans to air it has claimed that the controversy was due to the incomplete synopsis and character introductions that were released partially, resulting in one-sided information. It is not a drama that disparages the Democratic Movement or romanticizes spies. The drama is currently in production.
In the 4th clause in the broadcasting law, independence and freedom is guaranteed and due to the law, non-legal regulation or interference is not allowed. In particular, as creative works are free to pursue their own individualistic expression, it is something that needs to be approached with caution.
The government respects the free choices and self-restraint that will be exercised with sensitivity by the creators, producers, and consumers with regards to contents that have stirred up the public.”
However, The Blue House also stresses that in the case where the drama falls into severity for distortion of history after airing, it will be dealt with accordingly. Not only will the regulation committee for broadcasts be closely monitoring Snowdrop, but the producers will also have to take full responsibility should it come to that point.