When Netflix first released All Of Us Are Dead, the Korean public took issue with two main scenes. First, the sexual abuse scene of Eun Ji in the beginning, then the bathroom birth scene later on. Many found both scenes to be “unnecessary and uncomfortable.” The sexual abuse scene, which was shot in detail with much exposure of the young actress, was particularly upsetting. Many alleged that the scene could have been shot with less exposure, as well as less focused on the actress when she was undressed. They claimed the scene would have sufficed by focusing more on the bullies instead.
Netizens accused the producers of misogyny, especially when they found out that the original webtoon did not have such scenes. Director Lee Jae Gyu responded to these comments by explaining that he added the scenes to represent the harsh reality teens may face in the world.
There are many upsetting situations in our society. I did not put in provocative scenes on purpose just to gain more viewers and simply just wanted to portray that. Eun Ji was afraid of her abuse being shown to others and tried to get rid of it even if she died with that resentment. I hoped that people would see and feel how cruelly she was being treated. In order to do that, I needed to create the basic setup for it.
As for the single mother Heesu, this sort of matter happens commonly in real life too. There are many single moms in high school, and this is the reality that happens to us. She threw away the child but in order to save it, an 18-year-old mom ran towards her child. I thought that these topics we can touch upon in the show. Onjo’s dad and Cheongsan’s mom were also running to save their children, and I saw that as the most basic sense of responsibility families have.
— Director Lee Jae Gyu
He continued to explain that life in school was no different from regular society, and so, he wanted the audience to question what kind of person they were and accept that children could be the same as well. He concluded by acknowledging that it was conveyed in an exaggerated way and ended with an apology to those that felt unsettled by the scenes.
All Of Us Are Dead can be streamed on Netflix in applicable countries.