Disney+’s new Korean drama Snowdrop has been embroiled in controversy over its political content, with some scholars claiming it distorts an important moment in South Korean history.
Snowdrop is a a romantic melodrama that takes place in South Korea in 1987, and follows the country’s pro-Democratic movement. The series has sparked controversy in South Korea over its historical accuracy, choice of songs, and depiction of North Koreans.
“The controversy that arose following the show’s winter release on South Korea’s The Joongang Tongyang Broadcasting Company (JTBC), with detractors arguing that Snowdrop’s creative twists on history uphold the ousted military dictatorship’s version of history and essentially echo its propaganda,” Daily Beast reports.
Moreover, some 30 petitions seeking to cancel the show were circulated, with one sent to South Korea’s president after it had gained 325,000 signatures, sponsors Teazen and Puradak Chicken have pulled their support from the series, Variety reported last month.
Additionally, a group of scholars in South Korea have written an open letter to Disney+ about Snowdrop, according to a report by NME.
The letter, posted by assistant professor of Korean studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Bae Keung-yoon, did not ask for the show to be dropped, but rather, requested Walt Disney’s Asia-Pacific president Luke Kang consult with experts in Korean history.
“[W]e write to request that your company seek experts — to carefully examine the historical references made in the show, and consider for yourselves the way those historical references are used,” Keung-yoon and 25 others said.
— K. Y. Bae 배경윤 (@kbae38) January 10, 2022
“We make this request because we do not believe that Disney+ as a global platform is aware of the historical and socio-political context in which this show exists,” they added. “And we believe that platforms should make an informed decision when globally broadcasting a show set in recent, still-relevant Korean history.”
The scholars added they “do not make this request lightly,” and stressed people outside of Korea will be mislead by the series once it is “broadcast to an international audience.”
“We respect the Korean drama production’s right to create and broadcast fictional stories on Korea, where there are esteemed Korean historians, politicians, and other figures of intellectual authority who can offer their expertise and critique for Korean viewers,” they said.
“However, this is not the case once the show leaves Korean shores and is broadcast to an international audience, an audience that is generally unfamiliar with modern Korean history,” the scholars added.
Snowdrop makes for the latest scandal in which Disney+ has found itself embroiled.
Woke Disney+ will host a LGBTQ Pride concert aimed at kids and starring drag queen Nina West, with performances of popular Disney songs that will reportedly be re-imagined with LGBTQ themes. https://t.co/RT9bn9tu7P
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 18, 2021
Late last year, actor Emilio Estevez revealed he won’t return to the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers after he reportedly refused to comply with the production’s coronavirus vaccination policies.
Disney+ is also known for promulgating transgender propaganda toward children in recent years.
In 2019, the streaming service spotlighted the activism of a 12-year-old transgender girl as part of the new Marvel unscripted series Hero Project, which profiles young individuals who are trying to make a difference in their communities.