Lee Joo-young, the director of series “Anna”, refuted Coupang Play’s claim and announced her plan to take legal action.
On August 3rd, director Lee Joo-young’s legal representative – Siwoo law firm, stated “Coupang Play’s claim that they sent specific requests for modification to the director over the past few months but the director refused to do so is not true at all”, adding “Please prove when, to who and how you made specific requests for modification over the past few months”.
They backed up their argument, saying “It is common for opinions of the production company or distributor regarding the director’s edited version to be presented as official documents after consultation, but neither director Lee Joo-young nor editing director Kim Jung-hoon received documents containing the opinions of Coupang Play or the production company.”
Regarding Coupang Play’s position, they added, “It’s just a purposeless investigation and excuse without substance. The director’s edited version is the same as the final version of the approved scenario.”
Regarding Coupang Play’s announcement of releasing the director’s cut in August, they said, “What Coupang Play announced on July 8th was that they would release an ‘extended version’, and there was no fact that it was announced as a ‘director’s cut’. If the “director’s cut” was planned to be released, it should be disclosed whether it has been applied for the rating screening of the Korea Media Rating Board and when the application date is”. They emphasized, “ In a similar case, there is also a precedent that the liability for damages from unauthorized editing without creators’ permission is acknowledged”, adding “All possible legal action will be carried out”.
The controversy began two days ago. On that day, director Lee Joo-young revealed her position, saying “Coupang Play unilaterally edited and released the 8-episode series ‘Anna’ with only six episodes, damaging the entire work”, adding “If you don’t apologize and take corrective action, I will take every possible legal action”, causing a stir.
In response, Coupang Play said on August 3rd, explaining “It was found that the direction of the director’s edited version was significantly different from the direction initially negotiated between Coupang Play, the director, and the production company. Coupang Play has delivered specific requests for modification to the director over the past few months, but the director has refused to do so. With the consent of the production company, and under our rights stipulated in the contract, Coupang Play edited the work to match the original production intention, resulting in a highly acclaimed work by viewers”. They added, “With an intention of showing respect to the direction of the director’s edited version, the director’s cut of ‘Anna’ will be released in August.”
Meanwhile, “Anna” was released in June and made a big hit as it received lots of compliments from the viewers for the lead actress Suzy’s performance and the story, adding momentum to the rise in the popularity of Coupang Play’s content.