JTBC, the network behind Snowdrop, denied allegations of distorting historical facts about the 1987 Democratic Movement in South Korea following backlash from its premiere.
Snowdrop starring BLACKPINK’s Jisoo and Jung Haein came under fire for alleged historical revisionism after just two episodes. The K-drama takes place in 1987, a significant year for South Korea’s pro-democracy movement.
Shortly after the K-drama’s premiere, a petition calling for its cancellation was posted on the Blue House’s website on Dec. 19. The petition, which claimed the series “defames the value and reputation of the democratization movement,” reached over 310,000 signatures, as of this writing.
JTBC has since responded to the backlash with an official statement to Korean news channel YTN which has also been translated by Soompi. The network said Snowdrop is a “creative work” showing the “personal stories of individuals who were used and victimized by those in power.”
The network also stressed that Snowdrop is a “fictional” story of the “party in power colluding with the North Korean government to maintain authority.” Critics previously described a scene in which Eun Youngro (Jisoo) saves a North Korean spy after mistaking him as a pro-democracy activist as “inappropriate.”
“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’s statement read. “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.”
JTBC also stressed that Snowdrop doesn’t feature any characters who are spies leading the pro-democracy movement. “The male and female leads were not shown as participating in or leading the democratization movement in episodes 1 and 2, and they do not do so in any part of the future script.”
JTBC then requested viewers to “watch over the future progress” of Snowdrop’s plot, noting that its portal site’s real-time chat window and official message board will be opened.
The network previously blocked comments by hiding content on Snowdrop’s bulletin board and real-time chats on Korean portal site Naver, as per Star1.
Prior to JTBC’s statement, several companies already announced their withdrawal of sponsorships from Snowdrop including retail brand Ganisong, tea company Teazen, Seoul Milk, and Heungil Furniture, among others.