Previously, it was reported that the upcoming K-Drama, Snowdrop, was facing controversy due to its plotline and set-up appearing to “distort” Korean history and culture. The Korean public had not taken kindly to the premise and started petitions to cancel the drama on the basis of distorting history as well as romanticizing a sensitive issue.
Snowdrop‘s previously released premise was based on a North Korean spy who is mistaken as a student protestor. Injured, he ends up at a women’s university dorm where a female student nurses his wounds and hides him.
The public took issue with the fact that many student protestors during the Democratic Struggle were unfairly tortured by military troops who used the excuse that these students were spies from the North. The set-up of the male lead being an actual spy who is mistaken as a protestor would be a disrespect to the actual protestors who died in history. Other problems that arose included the choice of name for the female lead. The name Young Cho is an uncommon name and the actual name of a significant figure in history. Young Cho was an activist who fought against authoritarianism in Korea in the 1980s.
JTBC had previously released a statement to address the controversy, only to have the public deem it unsatisfactory. JTBC has now released a more in-depth explanation in an effort to dispel the speculations surrounding the plot and character set-up. In order to explain their stance, they revealed a portion of the actual storyline.
The new statement can be read below.
JTBC will be revealing our statement regarding the drama Snowdrop once more. Even after our statement regarding Snowdrop was released, the critique and speculation has continued and we are delivering a revised statement in order to sort out these misunderstandings.
The controversy arose from only a snippet of information that was leaked about an incomplete synopsis and character introductions. Doubts expounded on these fragmented information while contents that were false were circulated as if they were true. Of course, this responsibility falls on the production team that failed to strictly keep these materials, that have yet to be refined, under wraps.
As such, JTBC will reveal a portion of the contents of Snowdrop and ask for your understanding.
1. Regarding the problem of disparaging the Democratic Movement, Snowdrop is not a drama that deals with the Democratic Movement. There is no set-up that has the male and female lead participating or leading the Democratic Movement. On the other hand, a character who is unfairly accused and suppressed as a spy during the military regime in the 80s will appear.
2. Snowdrop uses the background and theme of 1987’s political situation surrounding the presidential election and not the Democratic Movement. A fictional story will be told surrounding the military regime, the National Security Agency, and how they possess vested interests, conspiring with the North Korean dictatorship to maintain power.
3. Under this backdrop, the main characters that appear are a North Korean agent and a National Security Agent that chases after him. The characters are not representatives of their affiliated government or organizations. They are characters that will highlight the unscrupulous greed for power to reform the regime, as well as a critical view of the National Security Agency that actively supports this. As so, the criticism that Snowdrop is romanticizing espionage and the National Security Agency is irrelevant.
4. Regarding the description of the National Security Agent as “upright” is because he refused a powerful role domestically. Rather, he is disillusioned by his colleagues who have made it so that it evades the (NSA’s original purpose) of catching spies. Instead, he takes up an overseas role as a Black Agent. He also is someone who sticks to his principles and will see whatever he thinks is right to the end, while turning his back on the corrupt organization.
5. The character in the drama with the name “Chun Young Cho” has no relevance to the revered activist, Chun Young Cho. However, we will be changing the name of the female lead due to the critique that the female lead’s name can be associated with the advocate.
Based on the information above, we request that from now on, you will refrain from spreading and leading public opinion based on false information as if they were true. We hope that it will be acknowledged that such actions will cause severe damage and diminute the many creators that strive to make a good piece of work.
JTBC will do its best so as to receive good reviews through our complete drama.
In regard to the military regime, although the military regime is not entirely separate from the Democratic Movement, the regime took place during a slightly earlier movement. The drama will be focusing more on the agencies involved in the regime and the struggle for power in the government.
Snowdrop is set to air in 2021, with BLACKPINK‘s Jisoo and actor Jung Hae In in the lead roles.