JTBC clarifies issues vs drama ‘Snowdrop’; to change name of Jisoo’s character

Published March 31, 2021, 9:56 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Snowdrop” stars Jung Hae-in and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo (Instagram)

As opposition continues against the yet to be released Korean drama “Snowdrop” that will star Jung Hae-in and K-pop group BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, TV channel JTBC has issued another statement to clarify issues surrounding the project.

A petition to stop the filming of “Snowdrop” was filed on the website of the Office of Korea President Moon Jae-in last March 26 accusing the drama of glorifying the former Agency for National Security Planning, which was linked to the torture and killing of people.

It also claimed that despite that it was proven that North Korea was not involved in the pro-democracy in South Korea, “Snowdrop” has a spy as the main character, adding that the drama is an insult to victims. As of writing, the petition has garnered 146,568 signatures.

“Snowdrop” is set in Seoul in 1987, an important year in South Korea in which pro-democracy movements and rallies were held to condemn the killing and torture of a student activist and demand the holding of a direct presidential election.

In a statement released on March 30, JTBC said it is “reiterating our position to resolve the misunderstanding from speculation and criticism that still continues after the announcement of our position about ‘Snowdrop.’”

It said the current controversy stemmed from a piece of information consisting of a combination of unfinished synopsis and character introduction. JTBC said suspicions were added to the leaked information and non-factual information is being presented as true.

“Of course, this is the responsibility of the production team for failing to thoroughly manage unrefined data,” it said.

“‘Snowpiercer’ is not a drama that deals with democratic movements. The setting in which male and female protagonists participate in or lead democratic movements does not exist anywhere in the script. Rather, a character who was unfairly oppressed and accused as a spy under the military regime in the 1980s appears,” said JTBC.

It explained that the background of “Snowdrop” is not the democratic movement but the political situation of the 1987 presidential election. “Snowdrop” is a fictional story about the military regime and the Agency for National Security Planning (ANSP) conspiring with North Korea to maintain power, it added.

In reality, the presidential election in Korea was held in December 1987 wherein a direct election was held after a series of protests in the country. Roh Tae-woo was elected president with 36.6 percent of the votes.

According to JTBC, a North Korean spy and an ANSP agent chasing him are the main characters of the drama and they are not the representatives of each government or organization.

“Therefore, the criticism that spying or the ANSP is glorified is irrelevant to ‘Snowdrop,’” it said.

In “Snowdrop” Jung Hae-in will play the role of Im Soo-ho, a graduate student who, covered in blood, goes into a women’s university dormitory.

Jisoo, playing the role of Eun Young-cho, a college student, takes him in and hides him from the authorities, and falls in love with him.

JTBC also explained that the name of Jisoo’s character, Eun Young-cho, is not related to Cheon Young-cho, a female activist. “However since some pointed out that it reminds them of her, we will revise the name of the female protagonist,” it said.

JTBC previously said that “Snowdrop” is not a drama “that disparages the pro-democracy movement and glorifies the Agency for National Security Planning and spies.” It said “Snowdrop” is a black comedy that satirizes the state of the presidential election against a backdrop of a military regime in the 1980s and it is also a melodrama of young men and women who became victims at the time.

It asked everyone to refrain from misleading public opinion by wrapping up false information about the unreleased drama as if it is a given fact.

“We would like you to be aware that this is an act that undermines and causes serious damage to many creators who want to do good work,” according to JTBC.