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Korean studies professors and students submit petition over 'historical concerns' in Snowdrop

JBTC Drama Snowdrop, Image via JBTC
JBTC Drama Snowdrop, Image via JBTC

Popular JBTC drama Snowdrop has been embroiled in controversy ever since the day of its release, and the show is now back in the spotlight once again. On January 11, 2022, over 30 students and professors of Korean studies got together to submit a petition against the various historical representations and inaccuracies that the show portrays.

The petition was addressed to the General Manager of Disney Plus Asia Pacific and aims to address the possible historical distortions the show portrays. The petition goes on to mention,

"We are not writing to request that you stop streaming the show. Rather, we write to request that your company seek experts to carefully examine the historical references made in the show, and consider for yourselves the way those historical references are used. We make this request because we do not believe that Disney Plus as a global platform is aware of the historical and socio-political context in which this show exists, and we believe that platforms should make an informed decision when globally broadcasting a show set in recent, still-relevant Korean history (1987)."

Petitioners raise concerns over historical references in Snowdrop

The first area of concern raised in the petition centered around political references with regards to real-life historical figure Cheon Young Cho (activist) and her husband Jeong Mun Hwa. The petition goes deep into the inaccuracy of their references.

The second point of concern was the portrayal of BLACKPINK Jisoo's character, Eun Young Ro. Petitioners believe that her character is based on another historical figure, Park Jun-byeong, who spearheaded a large massacre on civilians that remains a pivotal part of South Korean history. The document uses a tabular form to highlight the similarities between Eun Young Ro and Park Jun-byeong.


Netizen's thoughts on the matter

It is not the first time a petition has been raised against the show. Earlier in December, the South Korean Bluehouse submitted a petition against the show.

The Blue House petition demanding the show's cancellation garnered over 260k signatures. (The Blue House responded that it cannot cancel a TV show.) The first episode of Snowdrop aired on Dec 18, and has been a ratings flop.

When it comes to Snowdrop, netizens have actively expressed their thoughts on the matter. Some went on to show their support for the TV series.

So more than ever, international fans together with intellectual korean fans 馃, we need to give #Snowdrop lots lots lots of love because I'm pretty sure the actors were damm sad when they saw the stupid petition made by those idiotic MF before the show even started airing 馃挗
@ungodlytrinity That's was going to say to this former mutual about Koreans (hundreds of thousands signed a petition against Snowdrop) but she quoted me (1st paragraph) and then deleted her account. Like yeah. I got pissed at her. No matter how many times I said it wasn't true, she insisted https://t.co/s63UJcf7YP
@taeberry_07_ no, because snowdrop is doing good even there's a lot of petition knetz are still watching it and despite it is available on disney+ that you need to pay first before watching it 馃 https://t.co/M86xgOByW3
@jendeukechu I saw article from naver blog about that, and knetz are all really protective to snowdrop, and questioning are those scholar even watch the drama, because what they argue with are way left behind, like when first petition come out on late december https://t.co/Awft0D7ECc
This is the real reason the open letter is created.It seems these Korean crazy group, which is small in size, are threatened that majority of Koreans are now on Snowdrop side.This will have no impact again, just like the 300k petition signature.Keep supporting Snowdrop! twitter.com/dailynaver/sta鈥 https://t.co/5NFtjxV4vQ

Who were the petitioners?

The professors and students who submitted the petition belong to distinguished institutions like Ewha Woman's University, Pusan National University, Princeton University and more.

One of the petitioners took to social media to address the General Manager of Disney Plus Asia Pacific. In his tweet, he also inserted a link to the official petition document.

霐旍雼堩攲霟姢 鞎勳嫓鞎勴儨韽夓枒 歆鞐 齑濌磩雽響 耄伂 臧曥棎瓴 氤措偞電 瓿店皽 靹滍暅鞛呺媹雼. 頃欖瀽 齑 26氇呾澊 靹滊獏頃 鞚 靹滍暅鞚, 霌滊澕毵 <靹り皶頇>臧 霐旍雼堩攲霟姢 頂岆灚韽检棎 氚╈榿霅橂姅 瓴冹棎 雽頃 鞛碃毳 攵韮來晿瓿 鞛堨姷雼堧嫟.docs.google.com/document/d/e/2鈥

Caption translation (translated using Google Translate):

This is an open letter to Luke Kang, General Manager, Asia Pacific, Disney Plus. The letter, signed by a total of 26 scholars, is asking for a reconsideration of the drama Seolganghwa airing on the Disney+ platform.

Petitioners end the form by asking Disney Plus to create content responsibly as it reflects the kind of media content present throughout the world.

Edited by Ashish Yadav
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