Jisoo from K-pop group Blackpink will have her character name in the upcoming drama Snowdrop changed. This comes after online chatter that the name is similar to that of Chun Young Cho, a real-life prominent figure during South Korea's 1987 student protests. Jisoo’s character was initially named Young Cho.
South Korean broadcast company JTBC released a statement saying that although the character’s name is not related to the activist, they will change it since it’s been pointed out that it’s similar.
Snowdrop, which is scheduled to air in the second half of this year, began facing criticism after the series synopsis was circulated online recently. There were concerns about a possible distortion of historical facts as the drama was said to be set during the pro-democracy movement and the male lead was a spy who infiltrated the movement while another male character was described as a team leader in the intelligence service.
South Korean viewers have been sensitive about issues surrounding Korean history following the cancellation of K-drama Joseon Exorcist after just two episodes. Viewers were upset over the historical distortions in the show, which included its depiction of the third king of the Joseon dynasty killing innocent people and the fourth, King Sejong, receiving a guest in a room with Chinese foods such as mooncakes.
The backlash for Joseon Exorcist was swift and its lead actor Jang Dong-yoon has issued an apology for his role in the controversy. He said, "I’m incredibly sorry. I failed to fully recognise that this drama would become so problematic ... I only looked at the drama from the perspective of an actor acting out a creative work. I neglected my responsibility to look carefully (at the drama) from a societal perspective".
JTBC responded to criticisms of Snowdrop, clarifying that the controversy comes from incomplete synopsis and character descriptions, as well as speculations and false information. They explained that the drama will not deal with the pro-democracy movement and that the leads of the show do not participate in the movement.
They also clarified that the background of the show is the 1987 presidential election and not the pro-democracy movement. The company also asked people to refrain from misleading the public with false information.