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BLINKS can rejoice in the fact that their darling Jisoo is set to star in an upcoming Korean drama called Snowdrop. The K-pop singer will star opposite Something in the Rain lead actor, Jung Hae-in, in what will be her first lead role as an actress.
Snowdrop will revolve around a university romance between two students in the year 1987 – a notable year of tumult for South Korea as protests rocked the country in a bid to hold democratic elections amongst an authoritarian government.
Jisoo will play a bright and bubbly college student who resides in an all-girls dormitory. Jung Hae-in, on the other hand, will act out the role of a dark and mysterious graduate student seeking asylum in the girls’ dorm.
While some fans were excited about the announcement of Jisoo’s new project, more than 200,000 others have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of the drama.
Petitioners expressed backlash over the show’s supposed “apologism” and potential to distort historical facts. In the drama, Jung’s character, Im Soo-ho, is a spy who infiltrated the pro-democracy movement; another character is also reportedly playing as a leader of the Agency for National Security Planning, or the NSP.
It has been known that the NSP has tortured and killed activists during the democratic movement period.
The petition has also reached the office of Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has yet to respond to the criticism.
JTBC, the drama’s TV network producer, released a statement later in March that asserted that “certain sentences were taken out of context from parts of an incomplete synopsis that were leaked online.”
They also rejected the notion that the drama glamorized being a spy or working for the NSP. “[The show] is a black comedy that satirizes the presidential elections taking place in the 1980s under a military regime during the North-South tension on the Korean peninsula. It is also a melodrama about the young men and women who were victims of that situation,” JTBC stated.
Since then, the name of Jisoo’s character has been changed to avoid association with real-life activist Chun Young-cho.
For now, the drama is set to air sometime in June of this year. Jang Seung-jo, Yoon Se-ah, Kim Hye-yoon, and Jung Eugene are also expected to be part of the drama.