Jang Dong Yoon Shares Personal Apology For “Joseon Exorcist” Controversy
Earlier this week, the new drama “Joseon Exorcist” came under fire for its use of Chinese-style props and food, as well as its problematic depictions of several major Korean historical figures, which many viewers criticized as offensive distortions of Korean history. Due to the severe backlash from outraged viewers, SBS eventually decided to cancel the drama permanently after just two episodes.
On March 27, Jang Dong Yoon released a personal apology regarding the controversy through his agency.
The actor’s full statement is as follows:
Hello, this is actor Jang Dong Yoon. I worried a lot about [what to say]. I’m writing this in the hopes that, even if it is lacking, it will be an honest and sincere response to the many frustrated people who are waiting to hear my thoughts and stance as one of the leads of “Joseon Exorcist.”
First, there is no room for me to make excuses. I’m incredibly sorry. I failed to fully recognize that this drama would become so problematic. This is because I was ignorant and complacent. I only looked at the drama from the perspective of an actor acting out a creative work. I neglected my responsibility to look carefully [at the drama] from a societal perspective. It was a huge mistake.
Based solely on the fact that I would have the opportunity to work with a director I admire and amazing fellow actors, there was no reason for me to turn down this drama. Within my limited options, after taking a variety of factors into consideration, I believed that I had made the best choice [by selecting this drama]. As I said earlier, this, too, was because I was foolish.
Believing that people can live proudly if they lack moral flaws, I have always tried my best to be strict in keeping myself in line. But now that this kind of shameful and mortifying incident has happened related to my work, I’m filled with regret.
I’m deeply aware that it is because of the love and interest of the public that I am able to work [as an actor]. Therefore, even if you dismiss this [statement] as excuses, despite my intentions, I will humbly accept that. I didn’t want to make an emotional plea or write something invoking sympathy, but in the process of trying to sincerely express my feelings, I think this has become that kind of statement, so I apologize once again for that. However, if you generously look kindly on [my role in this matter], I’d like to engrave this incident in my heart and remember it forever while showing you good things as a more mature actor.