JTBC’s Snowdrop received severe backlash for choice of character set-up and distorting the history. Many netizens filed the petition against Snowdrop which has hit over 200,000 signatures. But according to some netizens, there are several reasons why Snowdrop.
The highly anticipated JTBC’s K-drama Snowdrop has received severe criticism for the choice of character set-up and distorting the history. The criticism has begun in the month of March.
The petition began on December 19, 2021, after the first two episodes got released as the drama received criticism using a tortured musician as the inspiration for one of the characters Im Soo Ho played by Jung Hae In who is an actual spy and hides under the guise of being a student protestor who supports the democratic movement.
On 21st December, JTBC also denied this Historical Distortion and released the statement explaining the reasoning behind their decision for Snowdrop‘s plot and how there are misunderstandings.
We would like to express our position regarding the controversy surrounding Snowdrop.
After the broadcast of Snowdrop, there has been continued controversy which has not died down due to the contents [of the K-Drama] differing from reality, so we would like to share our position.
First of all, the motive behind Snowdrop’s story, background, and major events is the presidential political situation during the military’s regime. Against this background, the K-Drama tells a hypothetical story where those with vested interests engage with the North Korean regime in order to maintain their power. Snowdrop is a work that shows the personal narrative of people who were sacrificed and used by others in power.
There is no spy leading the democratization movement in Snowdrop. The setting where the male and female leads would participate in, or lead the democratization movement did not appear in the first or second episodes and will not appear anywhere in the script after either.
Most of the misunderstandings that were pointed out by many people, such as historical distortion and disparaging of the democratization movement will be resolved through the drama’s future episodes as the show goes through its storyline. This will include the production team’s intentions of not repeating the era where individual freedoms and happiness were suppressed by unjust power.
It is a pity that we can’t reveal too much of the plot before the broadcast, but please keep an eye out for the future developments of the story.
In addition, JTBC plans to open a real-time chat service on the portal sites to listen to the various valuable opinions and voices of the viewers regarding our content.
The core values that JTBC pursues is freedom of content creation and independence in production. Based on these values, JTBC will do its best to show you good works.
Many of the show’s sponsors have also withdrawn their support for the K-Drama following the backlash. The brand P&J Group announced their decision to cancel their support following the premiere of the JTBC series. The company’s CEO personally released a statement through Hankyung that detailed their ultimate decision to cancel their sponsorship.
The company explained that they were “unaware of the content” when they made the initial investment. However, after seeing the first two episodes of the production, the P&J Group CEO immediately contacted the production company with his desire to remove their sponsorship, as well as their request to have their previous content removed from the already aired episodes.
Also organic food brand Ssarijai also recently shared their withdrawal requests following the immense backlash they received from Korean netizens.
The food brand posted an official apology on their website, apologizing for “sponsoring the JTBC drama, Snowdrop.” Company representatives shared that they expected the sponsorship to be a “simple rice cake promotion” but after learning about the history distortion, they contacted the production company to “withdraw their sponsorship immediately.”
Tea brand TEAZEN, pottery brand Dopyeongyo, Dyson, Downy, mattress company SONO SEASON and Hans Electronics have also joined the list of sponsorship cancellations.
Furniture brand Heungil Furniture was the first company to back out on its advertisement ventures, as they withdrew their sponsorship back in March when the initial backlash of the JTBC production began.
Even after severe backlash, some anonymous netizens explained the reasons why Snowdrop will most likely continue to be broadcast despite all the backlash.
- Disney Plus Contract
Snowdrop previously made headlines after partnering up with the streaming service, Disney Plus. This was an incredible deal as the JTBC series would become one of the streaming platform’s first-ever Korean dramas to be featured on the site. Not only that, but Snowdrop is only available to watch on this streaming platform, which makes its accessibility even more limited than other productions.
Netizens speculateD that the contract between JTBC and Disney Plus is immeasurable and breaking such a contract would prove to be detrimental to the Korean broadcasting company. While the exact number is unknown, many believe this may be the biggest reason why JTBC is unable to cancel the production of Snowdrop.
2. Chinese Company Investment
Another large factor that may be preventing JTBC to cancel the series is the investment that the K-Drama received from a Chinese company. According to different reports, it was confirmed that Snowdrop received a whopping investment of ₩100 billion KRW (about $83.9 million USD) from a Chinese IT company called Tencent.
The IT company is an internet service platform and a massive Chinese conglomerate. Just like Disney Plus’s contract, the agreement between JTBC and Tencent also becomes grim if the broadcasting company were to go forward with Snowdrop‘s cancellation. They would be contractually obligated to not only return the investment to Tencent but also repay back the money they already spent while filming the production.
3. JTBC’s K-Drama Until the Morning Comes
Another Korean drama might also get cancelled because of this Snowdrop controversy as netizens belives the JTBC’s upcoming production Until the Morning Comes is based on a Chinese novel that has similar governmental sentiments to Snowdrop and it also received criticisms because of its plot.
The plot follows the story of the Communist Party in China and the alleged truth behind it. The original author of the novel criticized the Hong Kong democratization movement that happened back in 2019, even going as far to calling the protesters “lazy.”
It’s not the same exact plot, there are overlapping political elements in both Snowdrop and Until the Morning Comes. This means that if JTBC were to cancel the production of Snowdrop, they would be “forced” to cancel the production of Until the Morning Comes. However, it’s been reported that Until the Morning Comes has filmed up until the 8th episode, making it extremely difficult for the production team to consider cancelling the series.