As a result of the recent controversy surrounding the SBS drama 'Joseon Exorcist', Korean nationalism is on the rise. Now more than ever, K-drama viewers are being cautious about dramas allegedly "willing to distort history" and "sell your own country for money".
Particularly, netizens have launched a movement on various online communities boycotting the upcoming JTBC drama series, 'Snow Drop'.
According to the currently known synopsis of 'Snow Drop', the drama is set in this historical year 1987:
The story begins when a young man covered in blood (Jung Hae In) breaks into a dormitory at a women's university. A young nursing student (BLACKPINK's Jisoo) takes in the injured man and hides him from authorities, believing that he is a student protester. The two fall in love, but as the story progresses, the woman finds out that the man is a trained spy from the "motherland" (The synopsis does not specify which "motherland" they are referring to). The spy is then ordered to kill the woman who hid him from authorities...
The drama stars Jung Hae In as the alleged "student protester" Lim Soo Ho (who later turns out to be a spy), Jisoo as a young nursing student Eun Young Cho, as well as Kim Hye Yoon as a university student Kye Bun Ok, Jang Seung Jo and Jung Yoo Jin as National Intelligence Service agents, and more.
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.
Fundamentally, netizens find the entire synopsis of this drama series problematic, or as "mocking" and "degrading" of Korean history.
The story of 'Snow Drop' is set in 1987, an extremely important year in real South Korean history. The year was marked by countless protests led by university students demanding for 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".
However, on the darker side of this story, many student protestors were captured, tortured, and murdered by the National Intelligence. Often, the National Intelligence accused the students that they beat, imprisoned, and murdered as "spies", when they were mostly innocent. Historically, it is accurate that there were some known "spies" during this era who "disguised" themselves as student protestors, just like in the story of 'Snow Drop'.
Netizens used this filming still found online from 'Snow Drop' (above) to accuse the drama of "romanticizing" the tortures and murders of student protestors. Many also found not only the male lead character's backstory problematic, but the fact that the second male lead/love interest is a member of the National Intelligence Service, also controversial.
Furthermore, numerous netizens including alumnae of Ewha Women's University are heavily criticizing scriptwriter Yoo Hyun Mi, who wrote the story of 'Snow Drop'. The scriptwriter is said to have graduated from Ewha Women's University in 1988, meaning she was a student during the historical year 1987.
Numerous netizens used the photo above of actual Ewha University student protestors to further criticize scriptwriter Yoo Hyun Mi.
Drama viewers are currently arguing that the story of 'Snow Drop' "slanders Korea's democracy movement", and "is an insult to real student protestors", many of whom are still undergoing legal trials, fighting to prove their innocence in involvements during the student protests.
As a result, an online movement is currently utilizing many of the same measures used by netizens to protest 'Joseon Exorcist' to send complaints to JTBC, the production companies affiliated with 'Snow Drop', etc.
What do you think of the controversy?