Prof. Jin Joong-kwon on “Snowdrop” controversy: “Freedom of expression, a drama is a drama only”

Jin Joong-kwon, a former professor at Dongyang University, criticized the controversy over history distortion of JTBC’s drama “Snowdrop.”  

On Dec 21st, Jin Joong-kwon posted an article on his Facebook page that reported on the contents of a national petition demanding the suspension of “Snowdrop,” saying, “What the hell are they doing? One side made a fuss that the drama disparaged the democratization movement, and the other filed a complaint with the National Security Act that it glorified political spies,” mentioning about the controversy over historical distortion of “Snowdrop”.

He said, “These people are on different sides but have the same mentality. Both are enemies of an open society. Just watch dramas as dramas, please. Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a democratic society. Those who shake the cornerstone should be firmly rejected,” he pointed out. “With what kind of right do they believe they can infringe on the rights of other viewers? Oh how I hate the tyranny of these disgusting ideological gangsters,” he criticized.

Snowdrop controversy

Snowdrop” became controversial in March when its synopsis was leaked at the time when “Joseon Exorcist” was criticized for its historical distortion. Netizens accused “Snowdrop” of “disparaging the democratization movement while glorifying the National Security Agency and its espionage,” pointing out that the main character has the same name with the real person who led the student movement and that the setting where the main character is a North Korean spy who joins the democratization movements could lead to misunderstanding.

Referring to the suspicions, the “Snowdrop” production team drew a line, saying, “Not only are those suspicions different from what “Snowdrop” contains, but also those has nothing to do with the production intention.” Nevertheless, as the controversy continued, they said in an additional statement, “It is not a drama dealing with the democratization movement. The setting in which male and female protagonists participate in or lead the democratization movement does not exist anywhere in the script. They are not representatives of any government or organization.”

Snowdrop controversy

The controversy reignited after the first broadcast on Dec 18th, leading to loss of sponsors and advertising companies. In this situation, “Snowdrop” issued another statement and said, “Most of the misunderstandings will be resolved in the future drama development process. It contains the production team’s intention not to repeat the abnormal era in which individual freedom and happiness are suppressed by unfair power,” they stressed.

Nevertheless, the spark of controversy showed no signs of abating. Organizations related to the democratization movement also criticized it as a “drama with a clear intention of distorting history,” and the production team of “Snowdrop” was even accused of violating the National Security Act by a netizen.

Snowdrop controversy

Prof. Jin Joong-kwon, who has been following all of this, pointed out their claim that “weaving democratization movements, spies, and National Security Agency is another offense and can also be seen as an attempt to give rationality to national violence,” adding, “I don’t see any different between them and those who accused a simple hand gesture of insulting Korean males.” He said, “Is this what democratization movement groups should do? Do you think people who devoted their lives to the democratization movement will like seeing these anti-democratic movements in their names. Don’t turn the democratization movement into the leader of South Korea.” 

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