Petition to stop the airing of Korean drama ‘Snowdrop’ ends with 365,000 signatures

Published January 20, 2022, 5:09 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

A national petition in South Korea to stop the airing of the Korean drama “Snowdrop,” starring Jung Hae-in and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, has ended and is awaiting response from the government.

“Snowdrop” premiered on JTBC and Disney Plus on Dec. 18 and the following day, a petition was filed on the website of the office of President Moon Jae-in to stop its airing, accusing the drama of distorting Korean history.

Jung Hae-in and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo in “Snowdrop” (JTBC)

The petition expired on Jan. 19 or after one month and has garnered 365,119 signatures. Under the rules of the website’s national petition page, if a petition reaches 200,000 signatures in 30 days, the government and Blue House (presidential office) officials are required to reply.

“Snowdrop,” a Saturday-Sunday drama, tells the story about political conspiracy and espionage against the backdrop of the 1987 Korean presidential election and a romance that blooms amid it.

Jung Hae-in is Im Soo-ho, a graduate student who is a North Korean spy sent to South Korea to do a mission. Jisoo is Eun Young-cho, a college student at Hoosoo Women’s University.

Jung Hae-in and Yoo In-na in “Snowdrop” (JTBC)

The two meet during a group blind date after which Jisoo falls in love with him. Six months later, during a mission, a bloodied Im Soo-ho is chased by agents from the government’s Agency for National Security Planning (ANSP). He climbs into the dormitory room of Eun Young-cho and loses consciousness. She finds him and hides him from authorities.

In episode 11 last Jan. 16, the hostage-taking situation at the university dormitory continued.

The national petition, entitled “Petition to stop the airing of ‘Snowdrop,” stated that “Snowdrop” had “already caused a lot of controversy by disparaging the democratization movement through the release of a synopsis before its airing and more than 200,000 people have agreed to the petition to cancel the airing of the drama.”

Last March 26, a petition was filed with the Office of the President, accusing “Snowdrop” of glorifying the ANSP, which was linked to the torture and killing of people in the past.

The petition protested the use of the Korean protest song “Pine Tree, Green Pine Tree” during a scene when Im Soo-ho is being chased by ANSP agents. It said the song emphasizes the pain and victory of those who participated in the democratization movement

It said it is unacceptable to use such a song as the background music for a person who plays as an agent of the ANSP and for a person who plays as a spy.

“Snowdrop” is also aired on Disney Plus and according to the petition, the drama can be viewed in many countries. It said the drama should not be aired anymore as it can instill a false view of the democratization movement in Korea among foreigners.

“Korea is a democratic country, and this democracy was not achieved without effort, but through the pain and sacrifice of the innocent majority. Only about 30 years have passed since this and the airing of dramas that undermine the value of the democratization movement should be stopped, and at this point in time when the influence of Korean culture is gradually growing, the broadcasting industry should also think about the seriousness of historical distortion,” according to the petition.