Upcoming K-drama Snowdrop starring BLACKPINK‘s Jisoo and actor Jung Hae In was facing controversy due to the plotline and set-up. The Korean Citizens were displeased by the statement released previously and started petitions to cancel the drama on the basis of distorting history as well as romanticizing a sensitive issue.
Th previous statement stated,
“Here is JTBC’s official statement regarding the controversy over the K-Drama ‘Snowdrop.’
‘Snowdrop’ is not a show that romanticizes or the embraces the spies during the South Korean Democratic Movement.
‘Snowdrop’ is a satirical black comedy about the presidential elections, taking place in the 1980s during a military regime. It is also a melodrama about the sacrifices of the young men and women during this time.
The incomplete portions of the synopsis which has been circulating online were leaked and interpreted out of context. This resulted in a wave of criticisms, but these are based on speculations.
The accusations about the plot portraying ‘North Korean spies as the ones leading the Democratic Movement,’ ‘the character being based on a real person who led the student movement,’ and ‘the show embracing and romanticizing authoritarianism’ are all different from the actual plot of ‘Snowdrop.’ These opinions are far from what the production actually has planned.
JTBC wants to firmly reiterate that the allegations around ‘Snowdrop’ are not aligned with the production’s plans. In addition, we ask that you refrain from making any more reckless criticism about a show that has yet to be released.”
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. 1st problem that arose was that the spy who will be the main lead which would is mistaken as a protestor would be a disrespect to the actual protestors who died in history. Other problems that arose include the choice of name for the female lead, Young Cho, due to her significance in the protests as an actual figure with an uncommon name.
To this storyline public became furious and the popular online forum, Reddit’s, one user shared their unpleasure through a long post by explaining why Koreans believe they should boycott the show. The user post said:
“This show is about a terrible event that happened in the late 1980s in South Korea when South Korea was under [a] dictator based on his military power. This dictator killed hundreds of students who rallied against his dictatorship and called the students spies from North Korea.
This terrible human is still alive (very old, but still alive) and has many followers who still believe that these innocent students who just wanted democracy were spies.
The show Snowdrop’s main plot is about a young student saving a protester who is actually a secret spy. Sounds familiar? It should be, because of what I explained above. This is what former President Chun Du Hwan claimed, [in his defense of] killing hundreds of innocent students. This show will only justify his actions and words. This show must be stopped. This is not matter that can be treated lightly, where the victims and offenders are still alive. Again, this happened in the late 1980s, [which was] only 30-40 years ago. Many Koreans, including my parents, vividly remember this awful event and how this dictator was removed from the office.
Koreans want this show to stop filming because it might downplay the movement Koreans did for the true democracy in [the] 1980s, and how awful the government was back then.
South Korea is a country that had multiple dictators, with multiple fraud elections. But with events like June spring, we were able to become country with democracy, where every citizen’s opinion matters. In between, a lot of young innocent lives were taken. And these hard work they put in for our democracy should never be downplayed or be [the] subject of comedy.”
So the JTBC recently released new statement by revealing the actual actual storyline.
The statement explains :
“JTBC will be revealing our statement regarding the drama Snowdrop once more. Even after our statement regarding Snowdrop was released, the critique and speculation have continued and we are delivering a revised statement in order to sort out these misunderstandings.
The controversy started due to one-sided information that combined the incomplete synopsis as well as a portion of the character introductions that had been leaked. Doubts expounded on these fragmented information while contents that were false were circulated as if they were true. Of course, this responsibility falls on the production team that failed to strictly keep these materials, that have yet to be refined, under wraps.
As such, JTBC will reveal a portion of the contents of Snowdrop and ask for your understanding.
1. Regarding the problem of disparaging the Democratic Movement, Snowdrop is not a drama that deals with the Democratic Movement. There is no set-up that has the male and female lead participating or leading the Democratic Movement. On the other hand, a character who is unfairly accused and suppressed as a spy during the military regime in the 80s will appear.
2. Snowdrop uses the background and theme of 1987’s political situation surrounding the presidential election and not the Democratic Movement. A fictional story will be told surrounding the military regime, the National Security Agency and how they possess vested interests, conspiring with the North Korean dictatorship to maintain power.
3. Under this backdrop, the main characters that appear are a North Korean agent and a National Security Agent that chases after him. They will not be characters that represent their own government or organizations. They are characters that will highlight the unscrupulous greed for power to reform the regime, as well as a critical view of the National Security Agency that actively supports this. As so, the criticism that Snowdrop is romanticizing espionage and the National Security Agency is irrelevant.
4. Regarding the description of the National Security Agent as “upright” is because he refused a powerful role domestically. Rather, he is disillusioned by his colleagues who have made it so that it evades the (NSA’s original purpose) of catching spies. Instead, he takes up an overseas role as a Black Agent. He also is someone who sticks to his principles and will see whatever he thinks is right to the end, while turning his back on the corrupt organization.
5. The character in the drama with the name “Chun Young Cho” has no relevance to the revered “Chun Young Cho”. However, we will be changing the name of the female lead due to the critique that is associates her (with the drama).
Based on the information above, we request that from now on, you will refrain from spreading and leading public opinion based on false information as if they were true. We hope that it will be acknowledged that such actions will cause severe damage and diminute the many creators that strive to make a good piece of work.
JTBC will do its best so as to receive good reviews through our complete drama.”
The drama will be focusing more on the agencies involved in the regime and the struggle for power in the government. The Snowdrop is set to air in 2021