Chinese Netizens Accuse South Korean Drama “Lovers of the Red Sky” of Cultural Plagiarism

South Korean drama Lovers of the Red Sky starring Ahn Hyo Seop and Kim Yoo Jung is at the center of controversy after Chinese netizens blasted the drama for stealing concepts and costumes from other Chinese historical dramas. As the accusation mounts, Chinese netizens and South Korean netizens took their voices online to debate over the substantiality of the claims.

Many netizens argue that the main characters in the Lovers of the Red Sky are wearing hats that are a copy of the costumes found in 2020’s Chinese drama Love and Redemption <琉璃> and Serenade of Peaceful Joy <清平樂>. In addition, the Chinese netizens accuse the South Korean drama of plagiarizing The Journey of Flower <花千骨> because the two dramas share a plotline where the male lead wears a mask to infiltrate a secret organization.


Adding onto the issue of plagiarism, Chinese netizens also claim that Lovers in the Red Sky is vilifying their heritage because the drama’s sole Chinese character is a scammer who sells drugs.

In response to the accusations, Seo Kyoung Duk, a well-known sociologist, hits back on his Instagram and criticizes the Chinese netizens for crossing the line with their unreasonable claims. Seo Kyoung Duk accuses the Chinese netizens for using the drama to play politics and alleges that the Chinese netizens feel threatened with the rise of South Korean tradition and culture on the worldwide stage.

Seo Kyung Duk continues to argue that the popularity of Korean dramas helps put a spotlight on South Korean culture and history. Given that the western audience are historically more familiar to the Chinese culture, he is thankful that there is more opportunity to show the world the beauty of South Korean culture.

Source: ET Today

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  1. Those C-netizens that creates such uproar online will not be banned as they are playing right into PLC’s political games… Such sad people to allow their minds to be manipulated.

    1. Yup, these netizens need to be banned. But sadly won’t. I really wish these Chinese would just learn to get it that when your history is shared, there are parts of the cultures that are shared, too. They need to respect Korea, and don’t just claim everything is there >_>

    2. I guess you never pay attention to knetz. It’s just a reaction to their anti China political stance. Anyway they claim everything as theirs even though they don’t even have any culture left from ancient times. Everything South Korea is just another branch of western colonialism, including Kpop, western pop culture appropriation sung in Korean language.

  2. According to some Koreans, ancient Chinese culture originated from Korea, including Confucius who was Korean.

    1. Yup, some Koreans even claimed that Korean are the ancestors of The Chinese. IMHO, there are always the crazy ones among each of the group.

      1. There is some truth to that. Refugees from the Qin Dynasty relocated to areas which is now Korea . Probably explains why Koreans have Chinese surnames. also shows some Koreans share the same DNA strain with Chinese.

    2. They have claimed Li Bai is Korean as well. And I also remember watching a k series where Tang Tai Zong Li Shimin had one eye shot out by a Korean arrow.

  3. Wasn’t joseon under Ming Dynasty? Hence the similar hats? But the hats arent that similar between 2 pics? And if you want accusations, China stole or maybe did pay licensing fee for a slew of variety show concept from Korea.

  4. Another thing to remember is there are a lot of anti China forces like Taiwan’s 1450 trying to stir up trouble out of nothing by making fake news all over the web.

  5. Political and fan craze aside – I agree that South Korea entertainment is vastly more successful and influential on a world wide platform than China’s. Though South Korea isn’t the first Asian country to “penetrate” the Western market. I believe HK was the first before it fizzled out. Japan is the second but in a much more niche market, like in anime and game industries. China had some investment in movies with Hollywood A-listers, but none really made an impact or a cult-ish following like the others before and now South Korea.

    Random note – the only palatable, enjoyable, and actually good movie with Hollywood and China collaboration is The Flowers of War.

    1. Japan was the earliest to penetrate the western market during the 60s to 80s with samurai films before fizzling out with the rise of HK films.
      Flowers of War was an entirely Chinese production except for the director hiring a Hollywood actor for the male lead.

  6. China will never be at the forefront when It comes to original and diverse contents due to their government’s own restrictions. They are full of folktales and So many people filled w/ stories to tell but could not. They may have the $ to produce visually beautiful drama/movies but people will get tired of the same old soon.

  7. I am not too bothered by the costumes in this drama. Although Joseon costumes have stemmed from early Ming costumes, there are differences and not a total copy as Joseon were not allowed to use certain clothing or headwear or wear some colours. The black hat is correct for Ming costumes as the wings have a downward curve and Song official hates either have no wings or long straight wings as what Wang Kai is wearing. However, I am not sure about the wing to hat ratio of the first guy. Looks a bit weird.

    The costumes in this series is not that bad. There are way more outrageous costumes in other k dramas. Empress Ki was very very strange as the designers seemed lost between what dynasty the story was set. The hairstyles were weird.

    I grew up watching Tvb and their mixed up costumes so unless the costumes are super wrong, I usually just forget about it.

  8. Do they have legitimate proof, evidence before charging such a ridiculous claim, tired of these Netizens taking over with their vicious claims, sounds like they enjoy being trouble makers, stirring up trouble apparently is their job and who listens, seriously?

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