JTBC Releases New Statement Regarding “Snowdrop” Controversy Over Alleged Historical Distortion

JTBC has shared a new statement regarding the new drama “Snowdrop.”

Controversy first rose in March regarding suspicions of historical distortion, which JTBC firmly denied at the time, releasing two statements in response to the public’s concerns. However, with the drama’s premiere episodes on December 18 and 19, backlash increased once again due to content of the drama.

A national Blue House petition was created on December 18 asking for the drama to be taken off-air. The petition states, “There are definite activist victims who were tortured and killed during the democratization movement because they were [falsely] accused of being spies without any grounds. Creating a drama with a plot like that despite this historical truth undermines the value of the democratization movement.”

Viewers criticized several aspects of the drama including the male lead Su Ho being a real spy when many activists were actually killed for being falsely accused as spies and another male character having a back story when he is a team leader at the Agency for National Security Planning (NSP), part of the authoritarian regime at the time. Also criticized was the use of a song symbolic for the democratization movement during a scene where Su Ho, a spy, is running away from the NSP.

The petition has surpassed 300,000 signatures as of December 21 at 12 p.m. KST, already far above the minimum of 200,000 signatures required for the government to respond. Many sponsors have also announced their decisions to pull out from the drama.

In response to the major backlash, JTBC released a new statement on December 21:

This is JTBC’s statement regarding controversy about the drama “Snowdrop.”

Following the broadcast of “Snowdrop,” controversy is not dying down based on false information, so we are releasing a statement.

First of all, the background and motif for important incidents in “Snowdrop” are the time of military regime. With this background, it contains a fictional story of the party in power colluding with the North Korean government in order to maintain authority. “Snowdrop” is a creative work that shows the personal stories of individuals who were used and victimized by those in power.

There is no spy who leads the democratization movement in “Snowdrop.” The male and female leads were not shown as participating in or leading the democratization movement in episodes 1 and 2, and they do not do so in any part of the future script.

Most of the misunderstandings regarding concerns of “history distortion” and “disparaging the democratization movement” criticized by many people will be settled through the progress of the drama’s plot. The drama includes the production team’s intent of hoping for no repetition of an abnormal era in which individual freedom and happiness are oppressed by unjust power.

Although we unfortunately cannot reveal much of the plot ahead of each episode, we ask that you watch over the future progress of the plot.

In addition, in order to hear the valuable opinions regarding JTBC’s contents, we will listen to diverse voices by opening the portal site’s real-time chat window and the official viewers’ message board.

The main values that JTBC aims for are the freedom of content creation and independence of production. Based on this, JTBC will continue to contribute full effort into showcasing great broadcasts.

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