The Blue House has responded to the petition to cancel the upcoming JTBC drama 'Snowdrop'.
'Snowdrop' recently wrapped up filming, and it's scheduled to premiere in the second half of this year. The drama series raised some concern after comparisons to real-life historical figures as well as a distortion of historical facts, and netizens filed a petition to cancel the series with The National Petition of South Korea.
The Blue House has now officially responded to the petition to cancel 'Joseon Exorcist' and 'Snowdrop' with the following statement:
"This is an answer to the two national petitions related to 'requests to suspend the broadcast of a drama.'
In the petition 'Broadcast suspension of 'Joseon Exorcist',' the petitioner stated the drama 'distorted history and consisted of content and screens that suggest an acceptance of China's Northeast Project' and requested that the broadcast be suspended and prevented from recurring. Approximately 240,000 citizens signed the petition.
The petitioner in the petition titled 'Suspension of filming of 'Snowdrop'' stated, 'It is insulting the democratic movement and attempting to glorify the Agency for National Security Planning (NSP),' and asked to stop the drama from filming. Approximately 220,000 citizens signed the petition.
On March 26, the broadcast company that aired 'Joseon Exorcist' decided to cancel the drama's broadcast after considering the severity of the distortion of historical facts. The broadcast company that will be airing 'Snowdrop' has stated, 'The current controversy has resulted from fragmented information, such as an incomplete synopsis and parts from the character descriptions,' and that 'it is not a drama that disparages the pro-democracy movement or glamorizes being a spy or working for the NSP.' The drama is currently being produced.
Article 4 of the 'Broadcasting Act' guarantees the broadcast station's freedom and independence of broadcast programming and states that it is not possible to regulate or interfere with the broadcast programming without complying with the conditions as prescribed by the act. The government's direct involvement in creative work especially requires a careful approach as it can be an infringement on freedom of expression. The government respects the self-correction efforts and autonomous decisions made at a civilian level by the creator, producer, or consumer regarding content that goes against national sentiment.
However, broadcasts that undermine the public responsibility of broadcasts or violate regulations, such as by excessive distortion of history, requires deliberation by the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC). According to the administrative office of the KCSC, close to 5,000 complaints have been filed by viewers regarding the already-aired 'Joseon Exorcist'. Due to delays in forming the members of the fifth KCSC, a review has not been carried out yet, but as soon as the committee is formed, we'll set an agenda and discuss whether or not the drama violated broadcast regulations. The KCSC will thoroughly review the broadcast's impartiality, public nature, and other factors of public responsibility through the complaints submitted by viewers and further monitoring.
In the future, the government will continue to communicate with artists and citizens so that healthy discussions about creative work can take place.
We thank all of the citizens who took part in the national petitions."