MBC‘s ongoing K-Drama, The Story of Park’s Marriage Contract, has unexpectedly gotten embroiled in controversy amidst rising popularity and favorable reviews. A popular designer has accused the production of using their designs without consent.
On December 11, Hwang Yi Seol, the CEO of Hanbok Leesle, posted a video pointing out the alleged plagiarism. In the title, she wrote, “Why Was I Amazed By The Genius Desgigner’s Work In A Drama,” and the video showed various clips of hanbok designs featured in the K-Drama. She showed side-by-side comparisons of those with her own designs at the Milan Fashion Week.
The designs in question were displayed in the background while the female protagonist was shown at her workplace. In the video, Hwang said that despite the designs appearing for such a short while, she was able to recognize them in one glance. She added that while she should feel happy that her designs were introduced in the show as a genius designer’s work, the fact that it was an unauthorized use of her designs made it difficult.
Hwang also stated that had the drama’s team reached out even through a social media DM or an email requesting to use her designs, she would have agreed happily without even charging anything.
The controversy spread through online communities, with many netizens shunning the show’s makers for not engaging in fair use practices of intellectual property. On the other hand, some even debated that since the designs were just used as props, it was not that big of a deal.
On December 12, the official Twitter account of Hanbok Leesle posted, “Just received a response from the show’s production team with a polite apology and a promise to credit the source.” They also mentioned that due to a communication error during the outsourcing process, the reference designs were used unintentionally.
방금 드라마 관계자로부터 정중한 사과와 함께 출처표기하겠다는 답변을 받았습니다.
외주를 맡기는 과정에서 소통오류가 있었고 레퍼런스로 전달된 리슬의 디자인물이 그대로 사용되었다고 하네요. 진정어린 사과를 받았으니 더이상의 이슈가 되지 않길바랍니다.
— 생활한복 리슬 (@leesle_official) December 12, 2023