Following the backlash from the premiere of Snowdrop K-drama, broadcaster JTBC has released a statement addressing the controversy.
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The new historical romance series, which stars Jung Hae-in and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, had premiered on JTBC with its first two episodes over the weekend. Snowdrop is set in 1987, a pivotal year for South Korea’s pro-democracy movement.
Following the show’s debut, a petition calling for its cancellation was posted to the website of the Blue House (the executive office and official residence of South Korea’s head of state). The petition, which alleges that the show “defames the value and reputation of the democratisation movement” has since reached over 300,000 signatures.
However, JTBC has since responded to the controversy with an official statement to YTN. The broadcaster described the backlash over the show’s “history distortion” as “misunderstandings” that will be addressed in future episodes.
“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,” JTBC said, as translated by Soompi.
“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,” it added. “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.”
Elsewhere in the statement, the television network also noted that, while Snowdrop’s is set during a time of a “military regime”, its plotline and characters surrounding the ” party in power colluding with the North Korean government” is a “fictional story”.
Prior to their statement, several companies have withdrawn their sponsorships for Snowdrop. These include rice cake company Ssarijai and Heungil Furniture, among others, according to a report by The Korea Herald.
“After watching the first episode of Snowdrop, we also thought that the viewers may become concerned about the historical controversy,” said a representative for Ssarijai. “So we asked the drama team to stop the sponsorship and our products will not appear from the third episode.”