Will Snowdrop be cancelled like Joseon Exorcist?


I read on Soompi that there is petition to cancel the drama due to historical inaccuracies. Do you think the same thing will happen to Snowdrop? Do you agree? What is your take?


I am not watching Snowdrop, neither am I a big fan of the actors/actresses involved. I (partially) don’t like historical stuff either.

But if there was a drama that was showing my country’s history in a bad light, I would have dropped it, too. There is a Bollywood movie which was heavily criticized for the storyline. The director had to change the movie name in order to escape from this controversy. I haven’t watched the movie till date, not because it was inaccurate or something but I am just not interested in historical stuff.

We can only equate their sentiments (by comparing their situation with any movement that happened in our country), but we won’t be able to understand completely why Koreans are being so harsh. I read somewhere that the production claimed to not use a song from the era which played a huge role in the movement, but they ended up using it. If this wasn’t enough, they ended up using it for the antagonist (?) or a spy (?). I am not clear which one was it.

It is also to be noted, Reply 1988 also had this movement in their plot, which was important for portraying one of the characters (Seong Bo Ra). Viewers did not criticize their portrayal at all. In fact, the drama is still unbeatable to this date.

Youth Of May was also centered around this movement, they didn’t face any backlash either.

I guess the production needs to realize, just having well-known cast in their dramas is not enough. They still have to be careful with their story. The drama is being made for entertainment, and if no one is enjoying their product, it is probably made only for mockery.


They did not use it for the antagonist. The antagonist = ML was on the run from the South Korean secret service (not “NIS” at this time) and got into a demonstration where this song was sung. The demonstration only gave him the opportunity to escape from his pursuers, otherwise the series would have ended after one ep.

But of course the ML is the enemy here. Moreover, as a spy, he is suspected of being a particularly dangerous murderer. Whether he is - he seems too young for that - we may never know. He also does not set a “honey trap”, his encounter with the FL is rather accidental.


Even if the drama is banned from telecasting on television. They are saying that it will be available to watch on hotstar.
I read that 200k people signed up for that petition.

I haven’t watched the first 2 episodes yet, I’ll watch it for Jung hae in.
K netizens are so powerful, we shouldn’t underestimate them. I don’t want the drama to become like joseon exorcist.


I was subber at YoM and read a bit about this time. The democracy movement regularly had to defend itself against the claim that they were controlled by the opponent, the North, so i think that’s the fear here, too.

But such claims are simply common. According to some, the civil rights movement in the GDR was also determined by the West. Of course, there are and will be always such attempts to influence, but people who think for themselves can be influenced a lot - moderate - or even not.



For non-Koreans who genuinely don’t understand

  1. Why Koreans are pissed off (even after just 2 episodes):

They claim the drama has nothing to do with the pro-democracy movement but literally used a real student protest song as BGM, they used actual NAMES of real people (FL’s name slightly changed after huge uproar). They based characters on real people.
There are still survivors of torture and abuse alive today, and families of students & activists who were murdered for protesting for democracy. These innocent students were falsely accused of being North Korean spies so that the dictatorship could freely torture and kill them.

So having the ML as a North Korean hiding among students is insulting to the victims and their families.
Having the SML as an NIS agent who is a “good person trying to do his best” is insulting.
Having FL’s dad who is the head of NIS shown as a father who likes literature and poetry is beyond insulting when the real man had so much blood on his hands.
Showing the NIS as respecting warrants (lolol they would have killed anyone who got in their way) is a huge distortion of the truth, not to mention insulting.
That’s why sponsors are pulling out.
That’s why people are mad as hell. They don’t want money being made off of something that glosses over real cruelty.

  1. For those whining but it’s ancient historyyyy

The truth is that there are still pro-dictatorship supporters today who DENY what happened to students. They deny the sexual assault, the torture, the deaths…and they claim that the ANSP/NIS were just doing their job correctly in catching NK spies, and that the dictatorship was needed! The perpetrators of these crimes mainly got off scot-free, many are still alive and well and have never shown any remorse…they still argue that the ANSP/NIS were just doing their job!So this is not ancient history it’s a live and current issue for us that impacts S Korean politics right now.

  1. Should/can it be cancelled?

I’m not for censorship so in my opinion if the broadcaster wants to continue to air that is of course their right. However, if you believe in freedom of speech/expression and want to keep the drama on air, you should also believe in Koreans having the freedom to be mad and disgusted and air their views. I did not personally sign the petition as S Korea is thankfully now a democracy so the blue house just can’t yank dramas off the air, no matter how many petitions are made. Koreans should (& have been) putting pressure on the broadcasting company to act, which is their right. However, the broadcaster also has the legal right to air the drama, no matter how poor in taste and offensive the plotline is.

  1. Who’s protesting and who’s defending the drama’s plotline IN KOREA?

As the events only occurred +30 years ago, there are many survivors and families still alive today. Park Jong Cheol was a student pro-democracy activist at SNU in 1987, he was captured and tortured with waterboarding. His death went on to spark the '87 June Democratic Struggle and nation-wide protests. The Park Jong Cheol Memorial Foundation (headed by his surviving family) spoke out against the drama’s plotline “It is a distortion and an offense…it is an issue that everyone involved in this drama should reflect on.” So actual victims &/or their families have been posting on sns and forums in Korea, discussing how this drama is in very bad taste.

Lee Han Yeol was a Yonsei student during the '87 demonstrations. A tear gas grenade went into his skull and he was in critical condition. While he was on the brink of death he became one of the national symbols of the pro-democracy resistance struggle. When he died of his injuries a few weeks later, his funeral was attended by over 1 million people. The Director of the Lee Han Yeol Memorial Hall spoke out against the drama’s plotline saying " If a drama like this was made without that level of historical awareness and social awareness, it should stop airing even at the cost of loss." After those remarks, the Lee Han Yeol Memorial Hall has had people calling them angrily to defend the drama. Literally verbally harassing the family of a victim.

In Korea, the only people actually vocally defending the drama are super right-wingers who are anti-LGBTQ etc. The kind of right-wing scum who said Olympian archer An San should have her gold medals taken away for having a pixie cut! Right-wingers posting that finally the supposed truth of those times is being shown (gross).

  1. What do Knetz think of international Kdrama/Kpop fans via this incident?

I have to be honest, there is a lot of anger here at international fans because of this issue. On forums they posted twitter screenshots of foreigners who showed that they signed the national petition. What right do foreigners have to sign our national petition?? was the general opinion. However, a reddit thread posted by a Korean explaining the controversy in English was applauded as Knetz want international viewers to understand why there is so much anger over the drama’s plotline. Kpop fans have not been making themselves look good. Many crazed blinks in particular have been claiming this whole controversy is all just a plot to take Ji Soo down (omg the world doesn’t revolve around your idol) and have been posting really vicious things on sns.

TLDR: Victims and their families feel hugely disrespected. The false narrative that there were actually NK spies hiding in the pro-democracy movement and so the ANSP/NIS where actually doing their job correctly is a key part of right-wing propaganda that the dictatorship used to torture and kill innocent students and activists. We have a presidential election here right around the corner, and there are right-wingers applauding the drama’s plotline.

My personal opinion: You can watch or not watch whatever you want, but you also have a responsibility to understand the wider issues.



This is one of those things where the overseas/intl audience have no say.

I want to see Jung Hae In again but I wouldn’t want to support this drama over the pain/trauma of the victims and their families.


Thank you for this insight. I guess it will be canceled.

What I do not understand and what I already didn’t understand in relation to Joseon Exorcist:
The actors (and other responsible persons) aren’t dumb and other than we viewers they get the whole script to read. Other than we they are non foreigners, too. Why don’t they express their doubts and fears beforehand, just why?


What caught me and what I found rather amusing was, for example, the train that went through Germany looking as plush as an Orient Express. The ML was actually or supposedly at the ominous “Berlin University” as in YoM and it is not said which one. The FL loudly sings One Way Ticket by Eruption, but the song is from 1979, there would have been more modern ones.


Oh, I didn’t know this was supposed to be a documentary… :roll_eyes:


I rather feel like they destroy their own film industry. There’s not just white and black. Maybe this person was horrible, but still loved poetry and his children. Films and literature need complex characters to portray them well.
Here, we even have a public holiday for Martin Luther because people like that he reformed the church. However, his behavior towards the Jews was horrible. People ain’t just good or bad, there’s more to it, and we have to face that in my opinion. On the other hand, good deeds mustn’t be used to justify something (like people claiming that Hitler constructed the freeway… um yes…).

I always feel that Korean dramas ain’t “free” yet. They don’t dare to really face North Korea, they rather avoid it or show it in a surprisingly positive way. Of course, they complain afterwards, but they complained before it aired, they even discussed it with the government… They don’t know what’ll happen. They production company claims that issues will be explained and solved, they can only claim something else later on for that reason.

And they didn’t dare to show much, either. The father of the ML was “just bad” and hungry for power, the protagonists somewhat took part in the protests and the doubtful soldiers were only shown a bit. I mean, I’m aware that Korea has a history of suppression. Suppressing themselves, being suppressed by countries such as Japan or China etc. Still, a majority of countries has issues facing their own history with honesty (Armenian Genocide, Nanjing massacre etc.). That’s a pity in my opinion.


How do these shows pass the screening in the first place?

Does the SK gov. screen the dramas before giving the ok for release?

I think China does this, right?


There was a petition against Snowdrop even before the broadcasting. In case of Joseon Exorcist the turmoil was afterwards resp. after the first two episodes.


There have been several K-Pop songs that were banned. I guess they do censor some stuff but… money speaks, you know.

There are also songs that were banned because they affected students preparing for Suneung. Students would listen to these songs as they were comforting, but government banned them. This also includes BtoB’s Way Back Home.


Joseon exorcist could have been a good show… if the production was careful enough :anguished:


It depends on the content. If a scene shocks the Korean viewers, I think the drama will be canceled.
I hope the writers have been careful with the plot and characters. :crossed_fingers:


The puzzling thing for me is that it is suppose to be a Disney+ original or exclusive. What are they doing at Disney!


I know little of it other than people saying it’s ancient history. That is bullshit as there are people alive today who went through it, and still suffer from the losses. Being African American I can understand the sensitivities of historical distortions. Normally, I dismiss ‘Netizens’ as a group that has too much time on their hands, but if there is enough smoke , somewhere there is fire.


Inorder to clear up the misunderstandings, they are going to air 3 episodes this week.