32 Korean scholars and professors send an open letter to Disney to conduct investigations into ‘Snowdrop’

Article: 26→32 scholars send an open letter to Disney… “Snowdrop distorts history, request an expert”

Source: Dispatch

Korean scholars and professors have requested investigations into ‘Snowdrop.’

On the 11th, 32 Korean scholars and professors raised concerns over “history distortions” in JTBC drama ‘Seolganghwa‘ and signed an open letter that was sent to the President of Walt Disney (Asia Pacific Region), the parent company that runs Disney Plus.

They wrote, “We request that Disney+ find a Korean history expert and conduct investigations into Snowdrop. Disney+ is not familiar with modern and contemporary Korean history so it should make a decision whether or not to air this drama after seeking opinions of experts such as Korean historians and professors. We respect the imagination of creators who make fictional stories and your right to broadcast, however, this is different as overseas viewers are unfamiliar with our history.”

They also pointed various history distortions present in the drama and shared fears that the drama “used concrete details of real people and events from history.” 

They pointed out the controversial items one by one as follows:

  • Female protagonist Eun Young-ro (Blackpink Jisoo) was initially named Eun Young-cho during planning stage. Her name was only changed in response to protests that the name reminds viewers of the actual democratization activist Chun Young-cho. Chun Young-cho is unable to defend herself due to an accident a few years ago. It’s inappropriate to use her unique and important name so casually for a drama. 
  • Chun Young-cho’s husband Jung Mun-hwa was a  pro-democracy activist against dictatorship. He was accused of espionage and even tortured. However in the drama, Young-cho falls in love with a Southern spy? Spies tortured and even killed. They committed horrible human rights violations and even framed victims who worked hard to reveal the truth through courts.
  • Im Su-ho (Jung Hae-in) setting as a Southern spy reminds viewers of ‘Dongbaekrim Incident‘ where many German students were accused of being North Korean spies, abducted and imprisoned in South Korea.
  • Eun Chang-su (Heo Jun-ho), head of the security department, is written to resemble Officer Park Jun-byeong who entered Gwangju at the time of 5.18 and committed a massacre of civilians. The similarities between the two were compared in a table below.

Seo-ji, a professor of International Studies at Busan National University who also signed open letter sent to Disney told Hankyung, “Works like Seolganghwa may be a historical interpretation that Korean rightists want to unfold. There are many ways to learn Korean history, however, foreigners learn about our history more actively through Korean dramas. Its irresponsible to air this to countries overseas.”

Meanwhile, ‘Seolganghwa‘ is a drama set in 1987 and depicts a love between Im Su-ho (Jung Hae-in), a southern spy and Eun Young-ro (Blackpink Jisoo), a female college student. This setting became controversial due to the democratization movement at the time. 

JTBC has countered that “misunderstandings will be resolved as the drama unfolds in the future.”

  1. [+440, -185] ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋI never knew leftists in our country were this ignorant ㅜㅜ. Why criticize Disney over this? 
  2. [+167, -53] Korean Scholars = South Korean Communism Research Group.
  3. [+171, -77] ㅋㅋIt’s clear none of them have seen the drama!! That’s why they’re using those fake facts. They should be prepared to get hit with lawsuits for spreading false facts. 
  4. [+116, -56] It’s annoying that so many dramas that have also explored this setting but none that have caused this much controversy. I honestly wish they’d just stop airing this drama before they completely ruin the images of the actors involved in this. 
  5. [+53, -7] “A work like ‘Seolganghwa’ can be a historical interpretation that Korean right-wingers want to unfold” ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ 
  6. [+74, -31] I’ve seen so many other dramas that glorify North Korea and spies…
  7. [+46, -7] None of them have any true criticisms on the content of the drama but are signing petitions to Disneyㅋㅋㅋㅋ? Is this drama a historical documentary? Instead of writing this nonsense, they should focus on reviewing distortions of Japan in our history books. Now that’s being a true patriot. Why go after a drama? They’re wasting their precious time on such useless things…they’ve lost their mentals. 
  8. [+43, -6] Anyone that has seen the drama knows they sharply criticize Ministry of Security and dictatorship throughout the entire episode. Since when did we have such strict standards over the creativity of writers? There’s zero political bias anywhere in the drama. When did we become a society where historians are getting involved in directing a drama?? Stop trying to mislead public opinion with this low-level, defamatory trash of an article! 
  9. [+28, -4] Looks like they just copy-pasted criticisms on The Qoo and called that “facts” ㅋㅋ
  10. [+28, -3] ‘Seolganghwa’ isn’t even available to U.S Disney subscribers so how exactly are foreigners able to watch this ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ? It’s clear none of them have watched this drama and just writing out fake facts ㅋㅋ
  11. [+20, -4] Sounds more like they’re studying British history while watching Game of Thronesㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ.

Additional source: Hankyung

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