Starring Jung Hae In and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, Snowdrop is shunned by the public for allegedly misrepresenting one of South Korea’s critical democracy movement. The controversy continued to escalate as more than 200,000 citizens petitioned the drama to be put off air while sponsors agreed to pull out of the series.
The melodrama takes place in 1987, a pivotal time aligning with the June 1987 Democracy Movement where many South Koreans were suppressed, tortured and killed for their fight for democratic freedom and resistance to the military government regime. In order to monitor its citizens, the government set up the Agency for National Security Planning and were given unilateral power to frame activist as spies for their arrest and torture.
In Snowdrop, Jisoo plays a university student while Jung Hae In plays a North Korean spy sent to South Korea to influence the presidential election. Many netizens took issues with Jung Hae In’s character as many viewed that the contributions of the college students in the democracy movement were undermined, and were conveniently replaced by a fictional spy character.
In addition, netizens complained that the Agency for National Security Planning in the drama were given the task of arresting North Korean spies and was hailed for protecting the country. However, based on historical facts, netizens argued that the the agency used “North Korean spies” as an excuse to frame and prosecute democracy activists.
Facing public condemnation and falling sponsorships, South Korea broadcasting station JTBC refused to give in to netizen’s demands and attempted to clarify that the drama does not glorify North Korean spies. Claiming that the controversy was a misunderstanding, JTBC aired more episodes in hopes that it will provide more context to the audience.
However, JTBC’s actions did little to alleviate netizen’s concerns while netizens began to place their anger on the production team and the cast. Without any sign of resolution, the netizens also moved to boycott JTBC and demand that the station be abolished.
This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.