Korean drama ‘Joseon Exorcist’ cancelled after 2 episodes due to history distortion

Published March 26, 2021, 10:20 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Korean actor Jang Dong-yoon as Prince Chungnyung in ‘Joseon Exorcist’ (Instagram) 

The Korean drama “Joseon Exorcist” has been permanently cancelled by TV channel SBS just after two episodes after it received severe criticisms from viewers over history distortion and use of Chinese props.

“Joseon Exorcist,” a historical drama set in 15th century Korea under the reign of King Taejong, premiered on March 22 starring Korean actors Jang Dong-yoon, Park Sung-hoon and Kam Woo-sung about a royal family fighting evil spirits.

But instead of praise, the first episode drew criticisms after it showed King Taejong, played by Kwam Woo-sung, massacring his own people. It also showed Prince Chungnyung, played by Jang Dong-yoon, visiting a tavern and drinking Chinese liquor and eating Chinese food including dumplings, century egg and mooncakes, Yonhap News reported.

This enraged viewers, who filed complaints with the Korea Communications Standards Commission against the drama.

About 20 companies have also withdrawn their advertisements in the drama including Samsung and LG Household and Health Care due to the controversy.

Koreans are sensitive about China especially over claims that kimchi and hanbok originated in China.

On the website of the Office of President Moon Jae-in, 196,837 Koreans have so far signed a petition to stop the airing of “Joseon Exorcist.”

On the SBS’ website, the page and contents related to “Joseon Exorcist” have been removed.

SBS said that “in recognition of the seriousness of the situation, we decided to terminate the contract to purchase the broadcasting rights for ‘Joseon Exorcist’ and cancel the airing.”

It was reported that the production company in-charge of the drama has already finished filming 80 percent of the series.

“Sensitive public reactions are expected from such controversial scenes amid China’s growing claims to Korean culture. The producers should have paid more attention to making the historical TV series,” according to Seo Kyung-duk, professor at Sungshin Women’s University, Yonhap News added.