Even before its first episode aired this month, JTBC’s latest Kdrama Snowdrop has already been confronted by controversy.
As soon as Snowdrop premiered its first two episodes on December 18 and 19, thousands of Koreans have signed a national petition to stop the continued airing of the K-drama starring Jung Hae-In and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo.
This petition to stop the series is not the first time.
Back in March, thousands of Korean have also filed a petition to its National Petition rules for suspicion of historical distortion after the plot of the series was leaked.
JTBC has responded to the March petition, emphasizing that the series is a work of fiction, and it firmly denies the accusation, stating that the series “is not a drama that disparages the pro-democracy movement or glamorizes being a spy or working for the NSP (National Security Planning).”
A day after the series premiered, the petition entitled “Petition to stop the broadcast of ‘Snowdrop’” was filed on the website of the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and it has now garnered over 300,000 signatures as of December 21 at 11 AM (PHT).
Under the National Petition rules, if a petition reaches 200,000 signatures in 30 days, government and Blue House (presidential office) officials are mandated to reply. The Snowdrop petition will end on January 18.
The petition states, “There are definite activist victims who were tortured and killed during the democratization movement because they were [falsely] accused of being spies without any grounds. Creating a drama with a plot like that despite this historical truth undermines the value of the democratization movement.”
Viewers also criticized Snowdrop’s character backstories, including the male lead Su Ho (a North Korean spy) and the use of a symbolic song for the democratization movement during a scene where Su Ho is running away from the NSP to name a few.
The petition also mentioned that the airing of the series on Disney Plus, a worldwide streaming platform, could cause a false view of the democratization movement in Korea among foreigners.
“Korea is a democratic country, and this democracy was not achieved without effort, but through the pain and sacrifice of the innocent majority. Only about 30 years have passed since this and the airing of dramas that undermine the value of the democratization movement should be stopped, and at this point in time when the influence of Korean culture is gradually growing, the broadcasting industry should also think about the seriousness of historical distortion.
JTBC released a new statement on December 21 to address the controversy in response to the major backlash. Read below as translated by Soompi:
This is JTBC’s statement regarding the controversy about the drama “Snowdrop.”
Following the broadcast of “Snowdrop,” controversy is not dying down based on false information, so we are releasing a statement.
First of all, the background and motif for important incidents in “Snowdrop” are the time of military regime. With this background, it contains a fictional story of the party in power colluding with the North Korean government in order to maintain authority. “Snowdrop” is a creative work that shows the personal stories of individuals who were used and victimized by those in power.
There is no spy who leads the democratization movement in “Snowdrop.” The male and female leads were not shown as participating in or leading the democratization movement in episodes 1 and 2, and they do not do so in any part of the future script.
Most of the misunderstandings regarding concerns of “history distortion” and “disparaging the democratization movement” criticized by many people will be settled through the progress of the drama’s plot. The drama includes the production team’s intent of hoping for no repetition of an abnormal era in which individual freedom and happiness are oppressed by unjust power.
Although we unfortunately cannot reveal much of the plot ahead of each episode, we ask that you watch over the future progress of the plot.
In addition, in order to hear the valuable opinions regarding JTBC’s contents, we will listen to diverse voices by opening the portal site’s real-time chat window and the official viewers’ message board.
The main values that JTBC aims for are the freedom of content creation and independence of production. Based on this, JTBC will continue to contribute full effort into showcasing great broadcasts.JTBC, 2021 December 21
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