Korea’s Office of the President answers petition against K-drama ‘Snowdrop’

The Blue House, or the Office of the President of South Korea, has answered the national petition filed against the Korean drama “Snowdrop,” which starred Jung Hae-in and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo.

On Dec. 19, a petition was filed on the Blue House website to stop the airing of “Snowdrop,” accusing the drama of disparaging the pro-democracy movement in South Korea and distorting Korean history.

BLACKPINK's Jisoo and Jung Hae-in in "Snowdrop" (JTBC)

When the petition ended on Jan. 19, it had 365,119 signatures, more than the 200,000 signatures required within 30 days for the Korean government to answer any petition.

The Blue House answered the petition on Feb. 16 or 16 days after “Snowdrop” aired its 16th and last episode on Jan. 30.

In its answer, the Blue House’s Public Communication Office said the “petitioner demanded that the airing be stopped, saying that some contents and settings of the drama undermined the value of the pro-democracy movement and could instill a wrong view of history in viewers. About 365,000 people signed the petition.”

It added that JTBC, which aired the drama, announced in December that most of the misunderstandings about “distortion of history” and “disparagement of the pro-democracy movement” will be resolved in the future drama development process.”

The Blue House cited Article 4 of Korea’s Broadcasting Act, saying it “stipulates that there is no regulation or interference other than in accordance with the law while guaranteeing the freedom and independence of broadcasting.”

“Therefore, the government has responded to a previous petition to stop its airing that it respects the self-correction efforts and autonomous choices made by the private sector, such as creators, producers, and audiences, for the content of creative works that go against public sentiment.”

It added, “However, whether or not public responsibilities of broadcasting, such as maintaining fairness, are subject to deliberation by the Korea Communications Standards Commission.”

The Blue House said according to the commission, about 900 viewer complaints related to “Snowdrop” have been filed and received, and “whether or not the broadcast review regulations have been violated will be discussed according to the procedure.”

“The Broadcasting Act stipulates recommendations, opinions, and sanctions (caution, warning, etc.) according to the degree of violation of broadcasting deliberation regulations, and if sanctions are taken, they will be reflected in the Korea Communications Commission's broadcast evaluation and re-approval review,” it added.

According to the Blue House, “As K-content is drawing attention from the world, we will strive to achieve a good balance between ‘autonomy in creation’ and ‘observance of public responsibility for broadcasting.’”

"Snowdrop" ended with an average episode rating of 2.738 percent nationwide in South Korea.