Dilraba Dilmurat’s “The Long Ballad” Questioned About Historical Accuracy

Dilraba Dilmurats (迪丽热巴) new historical drama, The Long Ballad <長歌行>, premiered on March 31. During filming of the drama, concerns were raised over historical inaccuracy and a group of history-loving netizens released a 41-page paper citing the issues.

Adapted from a Chinese manhua by Xia Da (夏達), the story follows female Li Changge (Dilraba Dilmurat), who is the daughter of the crown prince and is faced with the threat of death following a coup.  Dilraba stars as the strong-willed and courageous Li Changge, who experiences many dangerous trials and tribulations.

Although the original comics won many awards, it also possessed historical inconsistencies. Netizens alleged that the original The Long Ballad comic incited national divisions and undermined national sovereignty by distorting history. The complaints consisted of three major issues that supposedly majorly contradicted with history. Firstly, netizens proclaimed the story blurred the relationship between the Turks and Uyghurs and pitched the notion that the Uyghurs served as the Turks’ vassals. Historically, however, it was notated that the Uyghurs fought against the Turks.

Secondly, netizens accused the comics of severely damaging the image of historical figures. For example, while Tang Dynasty’s Taizong is considered to be one of China’s greatest emperors, the comics instead portrayed him and his central government as ineffective and unable to protect the borders against villains. Thirdly, Chancellors Fang Xuanling (房玄齡) and Du Ruhui (杜如晦), made great contributions to the unification war that founded the Tang Dynasty. However, the comics described them as petty humans and intentional lawbreakers, which netizens felt utterly distorts the image of these two historical figures.

When the accusations were made in 2019, The Long Ballad’s production team expressed they would research history and adapt the storyline as necessary. Although many firmly support that historical figures should be kept true to history, some feel that creative works do not need to portray history fact-for-fact. It remains to be seen whether the drama adaptation revised the inconsistencies to appease viewers.

“The Long Ballad” Trailer

Source: HK01

This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.

Related Articles


  1. I’m of 2 minds regarding this issue too. I dislike it too when historical fiction distort too much of history, especially making great historical heroes dumb or vilify them.
    But, on the other hand, this is, after all, fiction, not documentary. Artistic liberty must be allowed.

    1. @kidd While they can always put a disclaimer to state it’s a work of fiction, I feel it isn’t right to distort history or vilify known historical figures as this belittles their contribution and effort during that period of time. Also, those who are not good at history may only remember the storyline depicted in the drama than what they actually learn in history.
      However, I can still accept if with their creativity, they say the character they wrote is inspired by a certain historical figure and wrote a story where the character is not in a similar setting as the ones depicted in history i.e. time travel or outrageously unbelievable to be true (demon possessed, turned into zombie/vampire, taken over by aliens etc.
      Just like Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. It was so well written some take it as the truth and created some controversies. The author deserves admiration for his ability to make people believe what he wrote and is an example of how a pen is mightier than a sword. What he wrote is enough to convince those with weaker faith of the truth without him having to hold a sword to their throat to believe in it.

Comments are closed.