Director, Writer, And More Cast Members Apologize For “Joseon Exorcist” Controversy

Earlier this week, SBS’s “Joseon Exorcist” was permanently canceled due to controversies over historical distortion.

Jang Dong Yoon was the first cast member to personally apologize for his decision to appear in the drama, followed by apologies from his co-stars Park Sung Hoon and Lee Yoo Bi.

Shin Kyung Soo, the drama’s director, Park Gye Ok, the drama’s screenwriter, and the remaining seven lead cast members have also apologized.

Director Shin Kyung Soo wrote:

This is Shin Kyung Soo, the director of “Joseon Exorcist.”

As the director in charge of all the final decisions, I feel deeply responsible for the recent controversies and would like to apologize to viewers.

I would also like to apologize for this statement being late because of the various situations that had to be resolved when the drama was canceled.

As the drama was set in the Joseon period and had characters that are real historical figures, I should have been more cautious about the details, the stories, and the expression of the characters’ stories.

I feel responsible for this and am in deep self-reflection. As the director, I am responsible for all the final decisions and choices related to the drama’s content. The cast and crew only followed my lead.

But I would like to state that I did not direct with any special bias or prejudiced historical perspective, as some viewers have criticized. All of the problematic scenes were because I was lacking as a director. For this, I apologize.

As the drama has now been canceled, I am infinitely sorry to the cast and crew, who have worked hard for the past year, and to the viewers.

Thank you to those who sent in their valuable feedback about the drama. I will not forget your recommendations and advice.

Screenwriter Park Gye Ok wrote:

This is the writer of “Joseon Exorcist,” Park. Gye Ok.

I sincerely apologize for causing discomfort to viewers over the past few days because of a script I wrote without careful consideration.

As I was preparing for the drama, as the head screenwriter, I wanted to keep my past mistakes in mind and show my improvement through a good script. Instead, my complacency and lack of mature judgment resulted in the anger and exhaustion of viewers.

Once again, I apologize.

I should have shown more respect to those heroes who established the Joseon dynasty and left a huge impact on our history. Instead, I leaned on the fact that the drama was in the fantasy genre and deeply regret the complacent judgments I made as a result.

Many viewers have criticized and speculated about intentional historical distortion, but I have never intended such a thing. However, the results were that I left deep scars on others, so I will take this to heart and not forget this feeling.

I bow my head and apologize to the actors, production staff, and director who poured their heart and soul into making a good drama, as well as to the production company and the broadcasting station.

Once again, I apologize to all the viewers with all my heart.

Kim Dong Jun wrote:

Hello, this is Kim Dong Jun.

First, I bow my head and apologize. As an actor who should carefully choose his projects, I was not as responsible for this as I should have been.

In particular, I sincerely apologize for not recognizing problematic issues and overlooking the importance of history, which should not be treated lightly in any way.

I will not forget the heavy responsibility of having many people impacted by the choices I make and how I appear onscreen.

I have disappointed those who loved and supported me without fail. I will take this chance to reflect on myself and look back on the things that I have gone through.

Since I cannot gain forgiveness and turn back the past with the excuse that I was lacking and ignorant, I will reflect and work hard and keep learning so that this kind of thing will not happen ever again.

Once again, I sincerely apologize.

Kam Woo Sung wrote:

This is the actor Kam Woo Sung.

First, as a member of the cast and crew of SBS’s “Joseon Exorcist,” I apologize for causing discomfort to people and viewers around the nation.

Moreover, as an actor who has a big influence on the public, I regret that I caused this deep and incalculable disappointment.

Even though “Joseon Exorcist” is not a historical drama that is based on historical fact but rather a fictional story about demons, it involved real historical figures. As an actor in charge of leading such a drama, I did not recognize that this could be perceived as historical distortion to viewers.

From the director and production staff, who gave their all to make the drama over the past five months, as well as to the actors, we were so focused on our own roles that we did not take proper precautions. As the drama is now canceled, as someone who participated in the drama’s production, I apologize once again.

Jung Hye Sung wrote a handwritten message on Instagram:

Hello, this is Jung Hye Sung.

First, I would like to sincerely apologize for participating in this drama without a proper historical sense.

Even up until the moment I shared this letter, I was aware that I could cause someone harm in spite of my intentions, so I was cautious and wrote this with a heavy heart.

As an individual, as a citizen of this country, and most of all as an actor, I was lacking in not thinking deeply about the impact the projects I chose could have on the public. I sincerely apologize to those who were hurt by the fact that I was lacking.

In future, I will be more cautious and careful about each step I take as an actor and as an individual. I will also work hard toward cultivating a proper historical sense as a citizen of the Republic of Korea. I will become a more mature actor and person.

Once again, I apologize.

Geum Sae Rok also wrote a handwritten message:

Hello, this is Geum Sae Rok.

I have been reading all the messages sent in about the issues in the drama “Joseon Exorcist” and am reflecting on how I was lacking as an actor.

Even though I should have carefully reviewed the project during the selection phase, I chose to appear in the drama without recognizing the issues of historical distortion. I sincerely apologize for disappointing and worrying people because of that choice.

I will not forget this moment. I will become an actor who is more responsible and chooses her work more carefully so that this does not occur again.

Once again, I bow my head and apologize. I’m sorry.

Seo Young Hee wrote:

Hello, this is actress Seo Young Hee.

First, I would like to apologize for causing many people discomfort through my appearance on “Joseon Exorcist.”

It’s a fictional project, but there are characters based on real historical figures, so I apologize for being ignorant and not recognizing the parts that were historical distortion.

As someone with a job that has a big impact on the public, I overlooked the weight of this responsibility. To the viewers, as well as to all those around the nation, I apologize for disappointing them, and I will remember what they said and keep them deep in my heart.

I will do my best to have a proper historical sense in future and become a more mature actor who deeply considers her projects.

Once again, I apologize.

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