Hit K-Drama “Queen of Tears” Accused of Slandering Africa

Queen of Tears unexpectedly criticized amidst strong ratings growth

In recent years, Korean films have frequently encountered issues related to dialogues, inaccurate depictions of other countries and territories outside of Korea. Africa is one of the targets often portrayed negatively in Korean cinema. And the hot drama “Queen of Tears” has recently faced a similar situation.

Specifically, in episode 3 of the series, the character Hong Soo Cheol (Kwak Dong Yeon) recalled his time in Africa. The heir to the Queens conglomerate boldly declared Africa as a place full of “savagery and wilderness,” while his father recounted the story of Soo Cheol hiding in the hotel all day because he was afraid of mosquitoes. This dialogue was criticized for blatantly distorting the diversity and culture of the continent.

queen of tears
“I remember the time I spent in Africa. My twenties were full of wilderness and barbarism.”

Audiences reposted this dialogue on Twitter with the status “Save Africa from Korean screenwriters.” Below this status were countless comments from international audiences expressing discontent with the ‘Queen of Tears’ screenwriter’s disrespectful attitude towards Africa.

Audience comments:

  • Another Korean film using names of different countries and territories, please screenwriters or producers, understand the significance and respect of other countries.
  • Korean movies make international audiences feel like Koreans haven’t studied geography in school.
  • Is the screenwriter really that bad at geography?
  • It’s 2024, they can’t continue doing this, they have to acknowledge their mistake and change the way they talk about Africa. Apologize soon and let Africa be at peace!
  • They always describe Africa as a place where aliens live, instead of a continent with normal living conditions like anywhere else.
  • Why??? As if all the people in Africa are living in chaos. Don’t speak ill of us anymore!!!
  • Luckily I wasn’t interested in this drama from the beginning, now I’ll boycott it!

Before “Queen of Tears,” many Korean films also had inaccurate dialogues about Africa. “Kokdu: Season of Deity” had jokes about the education system in Africa, and characters also incorrectly named countries there. “Shooting Stars” was criticized for describing the male lead as a “white savior” appearing in Africa, as well as editing the film’s color to a yellowish hue in scenes on this continent. The different film colors between scenes in Korea and Africa are believed to imply that Africa is “underdeveloped.”

shooting star
The scenes in “Shooting Star,” the film color when the male lead is in Africa (left) and in Korea (right), are very different. The male lead even proudly tells the story of helping Africans find water.
Back to top button