Furniture brand Heung Il Furniture has canceled their sponsorship of JTBC's drama 'Snowdrop.'
On March 26th, Heung Il Funiture announced on its official website that they will be retracting their sponsorship for the drama stating, "We have belatedly encountered the issues related to the sponsorship for 'Snowdrop' on a community website. We have requested for the name of our company to be removed from the sponsor's list that is listed on the drama's webpage. We apologize for causing concern by not paying close attention to the issue."
During a phone interview with Sports Kyunghyang, an official of Heung Il Furniture explained, "The drama did not provide any details of the plot and requested a sponsorship. At first, we did not want to provide any sponsorship, but after much persuasion, we agreed to sponsor the drama at the end of December. We only knew the layout of the film set and the names of the actors appearing on the drama."
The official continued to say, "I didn't know much about the controversy of the drama, but then I found out about the 'Snowdrop' plot controversy from my children. So we have decided to cancel the sponsorship. We have already notified the drama of our cancelation, and they will return our furniture in May."
The company official then concluded by saying, "I didn't know so many people would gather their attention to us." In fact, the company website was shut down temporarily due to the number of visitors that flooded the site.
Meanwhile, there have been controversies with dramas distorting history that netizens are continuing to criticize. Drama 'Joseon Exorcist' has met cancellation due to the rising controversy. The SBS drama lost sponsorships from various brands after its controversy over historical inaccuracy.
This time, 'Snowdrop' has been criticized for its inaccurate plot. The story of 'Snow Drop' is set in 1987, a significant year in South Korean history. The year was marked by countless protests led by university students demanding fair democratic elections. Numerous university students endured oppression by the National Intelligence (highly controlled by the dictatorship at the time) and sacrificed their lives. In June of 1987, South Korea held its first "officially democratic" presidential elections. The student protests of 1987 are known to have "paved the way for South Korea's democracy." Many student protestors were actually captured, tortured, and murdered by the National Intelligence as these students were accused of being "spies" when they were mostly innocent.
However, Jung Hae In plays the lead male character who is alleged to be a "student protester" Lim Soo Ho, who later turns out to be a spy. Jisoo plays the role of a young nursing student, Eun Young Cho, who takes in the injured Lim Soo Ho and hides him from authorities, believing that he is a student protester.
Here, many netizens pointed out that the male surname "Lim" used for Jung Hae In's character and the name "Young Cho" used for Jisoo's character are both taken from real-life figures who were student protestors at the time.
After the controversy surfaced, Heung Il Furniture is the first company to pull its sponsorship. Many netizens are praising the company for its quick measures and response. Netizens are commenting, "That's a good company," and "I should buy their furniture in the future."