As the JTBC drama 'Snowdrop' is being further embroiled in a history distortion controversy, companies began pulling out their sponsors one by one and cutting ties with the drama. With much negative attention, the situation is worsening for the drama as there has been a claim that the drama returned the sponsored items damaged.
On the 20th, a furniture brand, Milliens, said, "At the time of the production company's request for sponsorship, we were never informed of the drama's script and storyline in advance. They only promoted the actors confirmed to be in the drama and stressed it will be a popular drama." The furniture company further elaborated it continued to contact the production team to receive the storyline of the drama but was not able to receive a response from the production company.
Milliens explained, "We expressed our concerns when there was a controversy about distorting history even before the drama aired. However, the production company assured us there weren't any parts of the drama that would be an issue. We trusted the official statement of the drama and had to wait."
This was not the only issue that the furniture company faced with the drama production. Milliens claimed that the furniture they had sent as sponsorship was returned to them in a damaged condition. Milliens explained, "We were able to receive our sponsored items back after several months and the furniture we received back was severely damaged. We were unable to any compensation and also were not able to receive any data about our advertisement."
The company explained, "We requested the withdrawal of sponsorship due to various issues, but since it was a pre-production drama, the furniture cannot be removed immediately. Therefore, we conveyed that we want our products to be exposed in the drama as little as possible."
Milliens concluded by apologizing to their customers and stated, "We apologize once again for deciding to take on this sponsorship without sufficient research."
'Snowdrop' is a drama that depicts the love story between a North Korean spy and a female college student working for democracy in 1987. This drama has been criticized starting from the production stage for glorifying espionage or the Ministry of National Security. Additionally, it was criticized for distorting history as they made the male lead character an actual spy hiding out in a university among college students.
1987, the backdrop for the drama, is known to be an important year when there were mass protest movements led by college students asking for a fair democracy. During that year, many college students were captured by the National Intelligence being accused as North Korean "spies." The students were captured, tortured, and even murdered under the pretense that they were spies. However, all these students were known not to be spies and were just framed to justify the tortures they had to go through.
Regarding this, JTBC explained, "There is no setting in the script where the protagonist participates in or leads the democratization movement. Rather, a character who was unfairly suppressed as a spy under the military regime in the 1980s appears."
However, after the first broadcast, the controversy heightened exponentially as the storyline was not edited. This led to a petition being posted on the Blue House public petition bulletin board urging the broadcast of the drama to be stopped. As of now, the petition has garnered over 200,000 signatures.