Joseon Exorcist Loses All Advertisers Within 2 Days of First Episode Controversy with Distortion of History, Will Stop Second Week Broadcast to Re-edit or Re-film Any Problematic Areas in the Drama

Cancel culture has come to South Korean dramas not just on the behavior of actors and actresses in real life but on scenes, props, and narratives in the show itself. SBS premiered highly publicized zombie sageuk Joseon Exorcist this Monday and immediately the drama descended into controversy. I haven’t watched the show yet, planning to binge this weekend, but when I heard the so-called netizen rage issue I thought it was much ado about nothing. I was wrong as it’s completely blown up – King Taejong was seen brutally killing his own citizens and in episode 1 the Prince travels to the border of Joseon to a town close to China to bring back a Priest to help with the spreading disease and during the meal the food served included what looks like moon cakes and thousand year eggs, both Chinese food items. Netizens were furious at the distortion in history both with the King’s actions vis-a-vis historical records and that Chinese foods would be served in a Joseon table, despite the fact the production said they were taking creative liberties since this drama had fantasy elements.

Netizens have yeeted this drama to the dogpile after rejecting that explanation, demanding it be taken off air, pressuring advertisers to stop advertising on this drama, telling the screenwriter to quit the industry, etc. Within 2 days every single advertiser (over a dozen) have dropped its advertising and Joseon Exorcist is the first K-drama to be without a single advertiser. It’s only aired 2 episodes, people. The production has issued a HUGE apology, will not air new episodes next week in order to comb through the remaining drama and edit out any problematic elements or even re-film as needed, and will edit out the scenes in episode 1 for VOD streaming. Dang, the Mon-Tues sageuks are all in controversy hell though River Where the Moon Rises got through it and came out smelling like fresh roses. Ratings for JE in the first two episodes were 5.7%, 8.9% and 4.5%, 6.9%.


Joseon Exorcist Loses All Advertisers Within 2 Days of First Episode Controversy with Distortion of History, Will Stop Second Week Broadcast to Re-edit or Re-film Any Problematic Areas in the Drama — 81 Comments

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  2. And K-netz strike again. Not surprised the show will re-broadcast. This time the controversy is affecting the ratings. You’d think they would have learnt from the Mr. Queen brouhaha. But since they got away with it and the ratings went sky-high regardless, they thought it would happen here too. Knowing how K-audience is sensitive about Korean history, the producers should have made everything fictional in the first place. They shot themselves in the foot with this one.

    • They didn’t just lose advertising they lost all their locations and hanbok suppliers. Where will they reshoot? How will they get new clothes? SBS is being stubborn by not cancelling the drama.

      • I didn’t say anything about them reshooting. And after all the money, time and effort put into the project by all involved, why should they just cancel it? If a drama whose male lead got embroiled in a disgusting scandal could recover, why can’t or shouldn’t this one? They should first try however they can to save it before the last resort of cancelling it.

      • Aren’t those 2 completely different controversy? This one has a national petition with over 14000 signatures demanding cancellation. How are you comparing the them? And if what OP said is true then they can’t finish filming if they don’t have any sets or clothes to film with. Without ad money the actors and staff won’t get paid. It would make more sense to cancel the drama and cut back on losses.

      • @nuovo Exactly! History professors who have PhDs are also demanding the drama get taken off air! SBS is also about to lose its terrestrial broadcasting license! They deserve the backlash!

      • @nuovo
        as of last reading from Koreaboo, petition reached over 127k signatures and already reached the blue house.
        And I also noticed the hanbok sponsor was also the same sponsor for RWTMR which last time made the c-netz angry because they deemed the hanbok is similar to their hanfu.

        I like JDY and I’m planning to binge watch when drama ends, I hope the production will settle this matter appropriately.

      • @nuovo

        I brought it up because Koala made the comparison in the post. And both incidents, whether similar or not, are still controversies. A lot of people were calling for River to get cancelled when that scandal came out fresh but thankfully they managed to bounce back. BR got a ton of cancellation petitions too. But we all saw how that went. Like I wrote in my first comment, the producers did this to themselves. My main concern now is for the cast and crew who worked hard on this.

      • @CDA

        You seem really worked up about this. Are you Korean, by any chance? Asking out of curiosity.

      • i don’t understand abt the naraesol hanbok.. they’re the one that created the hanbok for je.. but they seemed want to run away from this mess. i think they also should held an account for this thing. or is there any new information from them that i don’t know?


        btw in river, ppl signed petition to remove jisoo only, not to cancel the drama.

      • RWTMR never got cancellation requests only to remove the actor. Which they did so it was no issue. In fact knetz we’re praying RWTMR doesn’t get cancelled. The issue with JE has gone straight to the Blue House with multiple petitions. That’s not the same thing remotely. They even want the drama removed from international streaming sites. This issue is a huge national issue.

      • @dawang

        Kindly read what I wrote. I never said people signed petitions to have River cancelled. I said when the scandal first came out, a number of people were so outraged that they were online blowing fuse that the drama should be cancelled. I didn’t say anyone signed petitions to have it cancelled. Having already expressed my thoughts about this particular Koala post (which has unfortunately turned into this long thread), I have no desire to keep going back and forth because of others’ misunderstandings. All the best to you.

    • Can’t they just change the names, say the show is fictional cuz…hello zombies! And can knetizens take this energy and help people in need instead of waste their energy canceling tv shows. It’s embarrassing they can do so much in such little time and all they did was choose to get upset over a story about ZOMBiES. I’m afraid this will head towards a ton of censorship problems and will loose their freedom of expression and speech. It may seem justified, but censoring art is where it all begins. Freedom is when you get to choose on your own and that was taken Away from the viewer by 1/5th of the viewers upset. About…..zombies

  3. Shite! They torpedoed the drama because of the inclusion of Chinese food? Yet they still watch K-adaptations of Chinese works which mostly turn out to be ratings hits. Smh. All upcoming sageuks better beware. (Especially that Golden Hairpin project.) Crap, I feel so bad for the cast and crew!

    • not just only the chinesse food, but the way they potrayed the real historical figure kim taejong is very veey very misleading. he massacred his own ppl. is it make sense? the writer should just use fictional name instead. this would be booming.

      • @dawang @Adal

        That makes more sense then. Wish Koala had put that part in the post. Cos if it was just the Chinese food, it would be way too trivial to be blown out of proportion like this. When TKEM got into trouble with those Japanese naval ships and what-not they kept apologizing for, K-netz were pissed alright but I didn’t see them calling for KES’ head or advertisers boycotting the drama. The production should’ve been more cautious indeed. I hope the drama will be able to weather this storm though.

  4. I understand the outrage this time. My daughter and I couldn’t get past the first 10 minutes of episode 1 that had King Taejong slaughter his own people due to hallucinations. I wonder how much of the netizens’ outrage is fueled by the scene with Chinese food and how much was caused when a well known historical figure reputed to care very much about the commoners was portrayed as a relentless murderer of the common folk within the first 10 minutes of the drama. Those scenes would annoy anyone. The popular sentiment is that the portrayal is so far off the mark from how history remembers him that it would have been preferable to use truly fictional characters from the start. It is true that Lee Bangwon had a lot of blood on his hands, but his killings have always been strategic – to win and keep his throne; and his ire focused on the nobles and not the poor folk. I’d like to see how the drama gets over this. And considering that k-netizens have been raising flak at the influence of Chinese money in recent kdramas, it would have been better if production had paid more attention to these details when they complained about other dramas earlier; they could have avoided this fiasco.

  5. Kam Woo-sung and Jang hyuk make King Taejong the coolest king in Joseon history ?. Still King Sejong is my fave though

      • @Hipployta

        Agreed! To this day, I haven’t found a fusion saguek that can beat Six Flying Dragons. That’s one of my ultimate faves.

      • @Aurora

        I’d say Yes, Six Flying Dragons is that good. It’s 50 episodes, so be prepared for long viewing, but it never gets stale or boring. The pace remains fresh and exciting until the end of the drama. Another Saguek that I think doesn’t get enough credit is Tree With Deep Roots. I like it because the subject matter is interesting and it is kind of a Sequel to Six Flying Dragons, although it was made earlier.

      • @Adal @Clover

        Coolio! I enjoy the beautiful traditional K-culture depicted in sageuks. So long as the story is interesting, I’m in, regardless of length. Would you happen to know any good sageuks set in the Three Kingdoms era? I hear those are more expensive to make so they’re not as common. The ones on my list so far are Queen Seondeok and Jumong. If you know more, kindly share them. Many thanks!

  6. I know KNetz have a reputation for being toxic people who complain about everything, but from what I’ve seen (and reading @Adal’s comment above), the backlash is justified this time, a history professor even came out to criticize the historical inaccuracy.
    Also, at the end of the day, I’m not korean and neither are the international fans who are dismissing the backlash as mere KNetz pettiness, so I’m not going to dictate how Koreans should feel regarding their own history.
    Still, I feel so sorry for the cast and crew who all worked hard. I hope they find a way to overcome this. I’m a Jang Dong Yoon fan and even though I don’t like gore, I’ve been planning to binge-watch this when it’s already completed, so I wish the drama won’t be completely cancelled.
    The production should’ve been more careful considering the current tension between Korea and China.
    This is really sad

      • Yes. Even Shin Hye Sun is starting to get delayed backlash for being a “sell-out” for appearing in Mr. Queen. Ridiculous.

  7. Twitter is full of comments saying that knetz are hating for nothing, even insulting them…I think their anger is justified: Yes, the drama is fictional, but then don’t use a real King if you’re gonna modify his story. And be even more careful if the production money comes from China. Knetz are even bringing back Mr.Queen Backlash (by the same writer) in the drama it was said the Joseon Annals were mere tabloids. The Mr. Queen cast is also receiving their anger with past interviews praising the drama and Shin hyesun double the anger since she recently did a cf with a questionable line 🙁 …But I don’t think the cast should be castigated…Do they receive the full information about the drama?

    • I completely understand their outrage on JE. But them bringing up Mr. Queen now and even attacking the cast is a bit silly since they basically ate up that drama and gave it stupid-high ratings. When MQ had that controversy, I expected the ratings to hit rock-bottom but imagine my surprise when it kept rising instead.

      I don’t know if this is even a viable option but if SBS somehow reworked the offensive parts, maybe they could sell the drama to say, Netflix, for exclusive airing and recoup costs that way?

      • SBS can’t rework anything they’ve lost all their set and costume sponsorship. Which means the can’t use any of the sets, locations and clothes in the drama that they have filmed till now. They’ll have to start with new locations and costumes if they still want to shoot then they have to hire new sets and get new clothes made. The costs will double or triple and they have no sponsors.

    • The very definition of fiction is to create stories that are not real: they can do anything they want, even use historical characters in inaccurate ways…This has been done before many, many times.
      People have the right to dislike it and not watch, of course. But I think, if watchers are going to be so thin-skinned about accuracy, then they are in the path of destroying historical fiction forever.

  8. wow too bad. poor my JDY. but yeah the scriptwriter should have known better how the Knetz would react. Why using the well known character. Just create the character like Kingdom. It’s hard to rise up from this..might as well cancel it

  9. Add to that the episode was incredibly badly shot. It was so badly lit. It gave me nightmares of GOT season 8 episode 3. I couldn’t see anything, I switched to tv from laptop which is 4K, still it looked bad. People really did mess up multiple things here.

  10. It’s a zombie series, that in itself is a distortion of history. I honestly haven’t watch any Korean dramas lately. I don’t enjoy them as much as before, I feel like there’s a lot of stagnation happening and too much unreasonable restrictions and toxicity has polluted kdrama land. I wish knetizens have more relaxed views on their entertainment. Lots of popular drama lately hinges more on makjangs, I just can’t enjoy them. With this kind of environment, I’m afraid production quality and creativity has suffered a lot.

    • It’s a actually an evil spirit but possessed people look like zombies and had taken a form of a zombie. They bite other people and they get possessed too. That’s what I’ve seen in the trailer because I haven’t check out the drama yet.

  11. Nope. Beg to differ. Production was top notch and CG impressive. But yes I feel its time korean producers start making up fictional kings and names and characters and stop using real ones since everyone is,so darn sensitive these days. But the biggest problem is this stinking cancel culture that is sinking creativity and heck even in the workplace you have to be careful on everything you say and best to avoid cracking jokes and sarcasm. Its gotten to the point of people amassing power to their aimless lives by starting cancel campaigns online and forcing narratives that are trivial by bringing in their own misery herd. Jung Ok Jung took liberties with the storyline years back as well and received flak and lower ratings but was not canceled as netizens then were less woke. These days the tiniest issues causes millions to be lost just because it does not suit the taste of a certain group who wins fights not by being rational but by simply being the loudest. If the authorities dun step up and mediate or put in legal boundaries, its just gonna get worse and everyone will just go with Netflix and produce Korean dramas for International market than a sensitive korean market where netizens can topple millions in investments merely with keyboards. My take on the drama so far? Taejong killing innocent citizens due to his hallucinations is a sensitive area (but he is known to be the most cruel of all the rulers in joseon history and I understand why of all the kings, writer took liberties using him specifically) and should have been avoided. The chinese food on display though is a joke. The setting was on the border between china and korea, thats where the people of joseon jok reside (korean-chinese). Of course the food served will have chinese elements to it. That is all on the netizens wokeness. In no way should the production people apologise for it. The costumes of the females in the show does look chinese. So thats on production as well. I will still watch this drama as I am a fan of this writers work. If people can’t tell fantasy from non fiction then its a true wake up call for producers to realise what it takes to make a production for the woke audience of the world today. I will binge on old hollywood movies, silly politically incorrect british comedies, korean dramas that reminds me how blessed I am to be old. At least I spent a big part of my youth without this toxic internet culture and stored away many good memories as a result.. Those keyboard warriors can continue to stay woke and angry. This is our new normal. Pandemic + wokeism. Can’t tell whats worse anymore.

      • I would smash the like button too! I’m seeing images of JDY wearing a cast/sling on his arm on Twitter. Apparently, he got injured while filming the drama. And the woke brigade are trying to get it cancelled instead of demanding a revision. It’s weird to see a few I-netz also pushing for the cancellation, even louder than the K-netz. Wonder what their agenda is. ?

    • i read somewhere that there was a barbarian territory b/w china and korea so both kingdoms had minimum interactions and their interactions were through sea… so korean kingdom didnt share direct borders with china in the 14th century… they also showed one of the prince pouring drinks to the priest which is considered to be very deteriorating according to korean culture… someone of that status wont pour drinks to people lower than them… prince will be pouring drinks only to his elder relatives and fathers and not to a random stranger…
      we are not koreans to feel offended by what they showed…we are not part of their history or their culture… we dont know to what extend the tension b/w china and korea have reached… so we dont get to say if koreans are overreacting or not… it has over 125k petitions against it…
      the problems with mr.queen wasnt that big and the drama never saw any decrease in viewership… so its not like koreans are completely intolerant towards some small changes in history… even a lot of dramas with real historical figures have a fictional element in them and also managed to gain huge ratings in korea… empress ki had 20 or 30+% rating and it wasnt exactly historically accurate… according to history empress ki exactly wasnt very liked by koreans but the koreans audience loved the drama…

    • yeah, it’s a freaking zombie/mystical drama. How can the character behave the same as the historically accurate non-zombie setting?

      also it also the time when Korean realised that they were under the Chinese dynasty at one point so there will be similar custom if we keep having historical drama, they are freaking neighbor.

      Almost all of the saeguk this year has a lot of controversies. It kinda feels weird.

      • Almost all the sageuks this year having controversies is weird indeed!

        It makes me worry for the upcoming ones. Bossam (which is based on a real custom), Hong Chun Gi (which will air on the currently backlash-heavy SBS) and The Golden Hairpin (which is based on a Chinese novel). Oh boy.

  12. Losing audiences is one thing but losing sponsors and advertisers is alarming. Frankly speaking, losing sponsors and advertisers is basically highlighting that the issue is bigger than we thought. I feel like non-Koreans, myself included, would not know nor understand what the depth of the controversy and therefore any opinions we might have would be insignificant and somewhat invalid. If the Korean public themselves find it controversial, then it is.

  13. We international fan really have no say about Knetz reaction,n saying they are being toxic and too sensitive at least about this issue. We can not question their cultural upbringing as we’re not in their position and its their own history so they have the right to be sensitive if they have seen a historical inaccuracy on a show. Nevertheless i hope for modification rather than total cancellation of the show, I’ve been waiting for JDY for this show and it pains me seeing hi efforts gone waste with all this backlash, Nokdu fighting

  14. Wow Lydia1. What a tour de force comment. I applaud you for your courage to speak out. You seem to be the only voice that is different from the rest. My family too is sick of this woke and cancel culture in k-ent. We purposely re-watched Blazing Saddles DVD. Doesn’t mean we’re racists as we have friends from different ethnicities and heritage. Bravo for your speech. The king character hallucinated, it is a zombie drama so why do people get so upset over it? Grease got removed from British tv for being anti-female, Mr. Seuss’s books are too racist, Mr Potato Head is racist too. Everything gets blown up to pieces.

    • Yep. The world we live in today. Reality is shutting off the news, skip woke comments and people and remember they don’t own you. In my living room I am king. I will watch Mind Your Language, Monty Python and read Dr. Suess for all I want. The noise can stay where they can’t touch me. I do feel sorry for the young people of today… cyber bullying and wokeism will only get worse. Leaders have no balls. Silent majority sits out while the gongs keep clanging. P.s – now they are trying to cancel shin hye sun too. Lowlife keyboard warriors.

      • Mind Your Language is my top comedy too. Family and I love classic Brit comedies to bits. Been lovely talking to you. Won’t come back here again. Too toxic. I will advise all young and young at heart fans to leave this blog. Better for our mental health. From my observation, genuine KSH, KYJ & SIG fans on this site attract the worst kind of trolls & bullies. To those genuine fans, stay strong, be happy & migrate to other k-drama sites that stay civilized and mature. Cheerio.

      • Agree. I talked about this with my family last night. I will take observer’s advice and leave this blog. Lydia, thank you very khamsa for your insightful comments. Coming from an older mature k-drama fan, I wish you and your family all the best. Bye-ing.

      • @observer I know you won’t see this anymore, but I totally agree. People on this site just love discrediting and dismissing younger actors, especially younger actresses, and most especially KSH, for whatever reason. It’s like the hate is so personal, it’s crazy! I’m not a fan, but add Suzy in there as well, she also gets unwarranted extreme hate. I think they’re definitely just jealous because these young actresses are already more successful than them, and they’re all beautiful on top of that. I’m not an SJW at all, but this could be one of those times that it’s valid to think that it could also be internalized misogyny with these haters.
        Anyway, engaging with these twats is definitely taking a toll on my mental health, and it’s time I acknowledge that.
        I’m taking a break from this site for maybe a month. I’ll come back and see if it’s gotten better, and if not, I’ll permanently say goodbye to this site.
        Thank you to all the people who always remian civil on this site like @laura @thylane @lydia1 @sarah @ma @kimchi ahjumma and my fellow KSH fans!

        For the time being, I’m off to find other more civil KDrama sites lol

      • Oh la la! I knew as soon as @observer mentioned KSH, that winter bore would immediately jump up to comment and predictably play the victim mentality. B, please. You’re clearly new to this site else you’d know from way older posts how other actors & actresses have been eaten alive on this site. Not justifying it, just stating it so you know this site doesn’t revolve around ksh like your world does.

        And don’t even act like your fellow fans have been all innocent here. You @winterbear, @damn, @lmao, @yta, @thylane and the rest of you ksh nuts (most of you pathetically using multiple ids) have been just as toxic on this site. Even going so far as to use swear words, out-of-line insults and threaten to bully others with your fandom. You’ve attacked normal users who aren’t trolls/haters like @joane, @marga and the others. You people have even attacked @lydia1 and @KimchiAjumma in previous articles. Now you’re here hypocritically praising them as civil. And that @damn brat always getting triggered and even attacking a normal user’s comment in the last river recap. You attack anyone who doesn’t kiss ksh ass like you and then act all ‘poor us, we’re victims of hate and we’re being framed.’ Bull.

        Shoo on now and take your fellow ksh sycophants with you. You will not be missed. This site has been around since whenever and you leaving will not break it. Instead of finding a civil site to infest with your toxicity, you “twats” best start your own fan club and worship your idol there till kingdom come.

      • I’m thinking of leaving this site too. I don’t really engage on “fanwars” and such, I think I’m too old for that, and thank goodness most of my favorite actresses aren’t really the target of trolling most of the time (except for Song Hye Kyo), but reading toxic comments gives me a headache sometimes. From my observation, some commentators on this blog also love mentioning unrelated topics or people just to stir drama. It’s getting tiring lol.
        But there are still a lot of comments here that are insightful and are such a delight to read, like analysis of dramas, etc., so I’ll remain here for now and see if it gets better lol

        @GoFugYourself I don’t want to insert myself, but I honestly haven’t seen @winterbear cursing at anyone or insulting any users here, I just see her defending her favorite actress when there are bashers/trolls insulting her
        But I agree, @damn is a bit too aggressive for my liking lol

        Anyway, Koala really need to find a way to moderate comments here if she don’t want to lose readers lol

      • @GoFugYourself LMFAO Get a load of this dumbass ???
        Go Fug Yourself with that gaslighting bullshit ?
        @WinterBear said all younger actresses get bashed mercilessly on this blog, she even mentioned Suzy even though she’s not a fan, and all you saw was KSH? You’ve just proven her point, all you saw was the name KSH and you attacked her, it’s so funny how obsessed you are ?
        Most people here will bash any and everything KSH does, of course we will defend her. Not our fault you all are obsessed with her lmao
        Also, younger actresses are bashed here 1000x more than veteran actresses, and that’s a fact. You bet your ass if Song Hye Kyo or Jun Ji Hyun are still 20-somethings, they will get roasted too by toxic people like you. The only reason older actresses aren’t bashed much anymore is because they’re already untouchable, so no one dares to insult them, it’s basically blasphemy now to do so.

        Also, we don’t need you to worship KSH, why the hell are you putting words in our mouths?
        We just need you all to respect her or ignore articles about her if you all hate her so much. But no, you all keep insulting her as if she did something bad to you in person. Like that one time Koala posted about KSH being tired and exhausted while filming the reshoots for RWTMR, instead of toning down your hate for a moment, and sympathizing with her, what did you all do? Call her greedy and money-hungry. And then you will all gaslight us and paint as us “crazy” fans when we defend her? What a clown ?

        And show me when did WinterBear cursed at anyone other than losers like joane and lai pei yee? I’ll wait.

        So shoo to YOU and all of the toxic people here like you.
        You all don’t want to hear KSH’s name? Then stop bashing her in articles that literally has nothing to do with her. Simple.

        Now I’ll stop before you start accusing us again of making it about KSH and “pLaYiNg ViCtImS” when it’s you who started it in the first place, when @WinterBear is not even talking to you. Go Fug Yourself.

        Anyway, back to the situation, this is really sad. I was hoping the drama can still be saved, but I guess KNetz are just that powerful

      • Well I think everyone should just be mindful of what they comment on this blog. It’s fine to critic an actor or actress’s acting skills, but to attack their looks or their character, which I often see happening here, is just low. I myself was guilty of that when I said that a certain actress’s looks isn’t that great on a previous article, and I regret it now. On the other hand, people should be able to defend their favorites without being called crazy. And also, on the defender’s part, there’s no need to insult the toxic person’s favorite, as that actor/actress doesn’t deserve it, and it’s not his/her fault that he/she has a toxic fan.
        I think the fact that some people already left this site and others are thinking of doing so, should be a sign that everything’s going too toxic here. I honestly don’t know how people can find the energy for so called “fanwars”. I mean, I would say something here and there if a comment is getting out of line just to let the other person know that it’s not just the fans that have a problem with that below the belt comment, but that’s about it for me lol.
        Lastly, I think everyone should just go outside and touch some grass from time to time, lol it’s great for mental health

  15. Actually after watching the king killing the poor people scene turned me off. I was quite interested in watching the first episode to compare it with Kingdom. But I am surprised to hear that it even lose its advertisers. That’s huge and serious problem.

    I think production should now focus on fictional stories and characters rather than distort historical facts.

    • I read in soompi forum that they are going to make all characters fictional starting episode 3. Will the advertisers come back? The production will suffer a huge loss if they don’t get those sponsors back.

      Will this drama overcome the controversy? The first episode had a really strong start which means people were interested. The second episode garnered 6.9% still good.

      I wonder if this might even boost the ratings next broadcast since audience will be more interested because of the controversy.

      • Apparently an insider revealed the official statement was false and there is no intention to rewrite the characters. They’re currently filming the last episode with no intention of making changes. There’s more drama going on but not everything is being translated for foreign fans yet.

      • @tuao

        Plot twist sorry. Cancellation is not yet confirmed! There is still hope.

  16. Yeah, it makes the production look dumb. Now Knetizens and Cnetizens are going to go head to head to see who can be the most outraged and indignant and generate more idiocy.

    If they were going to use Chinese food as a prop to indicate border location, they could have had a mix of prominent Korean, Jurchen, and Ming Chinese dishes and then have characters call out that this cuisine is particular to the area. I personally thought the mountains of eggs and mooncakes looked ridiculous. Never seen them presented like that in any of the chinese dramas I’ve watched.

    I don’t get why korean sageuks don’t use fictional characters more. Sometimes, the portrayal and fate of the characters are so removed from real life, it’s puzzling.

  17. The historical expert advisor for the drama just backed out! He claims he warned them but never reviewed his feedback! This is getting more entertaining!

  18. I don’t understand the reaction though. The drama title Joseon Exorcist alone means the story is fictional. The only problem was using historical figures as lead characters.

    The show’s concept reminded me of an American movie where President Abraham Lincoln was a Vampire Hunter. I’m pretty sure nobody reacted so aggressively against that.

    There is so much sensitivity to something that is just supposed to be an entertaining twist. I remembered the criticism on The Last Empress first few episodes that they had to place a disclaimer during beginning of each episode that the story is fictional or something like that.

    It’s like walking on eggshells nowadays. One wrong move and you’re cancelled. But this is the most extreme I have seen. Losing advertisers after just 2 episodes? That practically spells doom for a drama.

  19. As an international fan I find it an overreaction because it’s not really my own culture. But in the end it’s not my say because the culture that’s being trampled is theirs and Korean are really patriotic beings. And Koreans and Chinese always have that friction between them that is still evident now. These are the few things they hated that resulted to such aggravation ( I saw this on twitter by @heystobitjames. Its not mine)

    SK citizens were mad because the props, set pieces and background looked Chinese which is a misrepresentation of their culture and history

    There was a scene where King Taejong massacred people — a public display of disrespect to a revered historical figure

    Chungyeong (later to become King Sejong) was portrayed to be acting like a fool to a priest — another display of disrespect. (Just an addition) Because there was a scene that the prince poured the tea to the priest which is clearly an insult because the prince has a higher position.

    • And because it was heavily influence by Chinese culture rumored spread that Chinese investor are the one who’s financing this drama but SBS denied it. And said that all sponsors are Korean

  20. well, it’s a zombie drama.
    I don’t think it needed a documentary level of accuracy.

    It’s not that I want to defend them because I am not even their fans, it just I find it ridiculous.

    Chinese and Korean have been shared their past history so if the setting is near the border, then there will be similar food.

    I do think they make the interpretation is way brutal but then virus-like zombie never happened. There was no such things so you can’t take that as the truth. Korean should go to fantasy historical genre and made up their own fictional country at this point.

    It’s a zombie movie for god-sake, ofc you can hardly find the real things there, the element already changes. That supposedly good people in the past didn’t meet the zombie, it’s an entirely different setting.

  21. They should have been careful, as this “cultural claiming” is a sensitive thing. With the current claiming of Kimchi and Hanbok on Chinese shows, influencers, as originating from China, Hence Koreans are going to be territorial and serious about this. Vincenzo had this same issue, albeit lesser extent, coz the bibimbap PPL is from China (fear that bibimbap is next for some Chinese to claim as originating from them). So, for JE (a korean drama) to distort real korean historical figures as bad, chinese dishes in sageuk and even the hanbok styled like a wuxia-inspired. It basically feels like selling korean culture, hence the traitor tag.

  22. I’m not Korean, but as an international viewer, I completely disagree with international audiences who think that this isn’t a big deal and Koreans are being too sensitive about this. What the Korean audience fear is cultural appropriation and rightfully so, as they have been beaten back and oppressed for centuries. When it comes to K-pop and Kdramas, they finally have created a niche where Korean content is being appreciated by the world, then along comes another country that wants to take the credit for elements of their culture that is essentially theirs? I have been a kdrama viewer for almost 10 years and it hasn’t escaped my notice the change in distribution and content that has happened over the years. When I first started watching Asian dramas, one could hardly find C-dramas on the market as an international viewer, and kdramas dominated the market; then came the Hallyu ban from China; then the Chinese stepped up production and improved the quality of their dramas, now, a few years later, they opened the floodgates, C-dramas dominate the marketplace for international audiences by the sheer number of dramas being released per month which greatly outnumber their competitors. Not only that, but their investments into K-dramas make them include elements of Chinese food and culture into what is essentially Korean dramas. I think all of this is strategic. And if I were a Korean, I’d feel outraged as well. Anyone who has had their own culture appropriated at some point would understand where they are coming from, so even if we, as international audiences, don’t agree with them, I’d caution anyone from implying that this isn’t a big deal. There’s a saying that history is always written by the victors. What might seem like a little thing, might have far reaching consequences if left unchecked.

    • How is that appropriating Korean culture? Isn’t it appropriating Chinese culture if they put Chinese food in a Korean drama?

      • The cultural appropriation issue started way before incorporating Chinese foods in Korean dramas, if you’ve been following K-ent news, C-ent news and blogs, there have been huge issues about China claiming that the hanbok (Korean) originated from the Hanfu ( Chinese), claiming Kimchi’s origin as Chinese, featuring slaves in Cdrama wearing the hanbok, and Cdramas featuring court officials clothes very similar to those worn by court officials in the Joseon era and a lot of other issues. I’ve read comments on C-blogs claiming that Korea is just another protectorate of China like Taiwan and originated from China. I’m neutral as I don’t have a strong knowledge of the history between both countries, but I recognize the sensitivity of the issue. After reading all the incendiary comments from both sides, I can understand the outrage felt by Koreans when they see Chinese items in a Korean historical drama.

      • Still, my point stand that it’s not appropriation of Korean culture if you display Chinese food in your dramas. It’s the other way round. You don’t put foreign culture in your drama, and claim that others are appropriating your culture. It’s wholly the fault of the production.

        Regarding the hanbok issue, I did read up on history. In all honesty, obviously they have similarities in costumes because they are of geographical proximity and took influence from each other. The part on official garments, that is very obviously Chinese. I don’t see the Korean argument on that point, because Ming was founded earlier than Joseon.

    • I definetely agree with you.
      Usually, I am annoyed that korean citizens keep on complaining about everything. But this time, I cannot blame them. It’s their history.
      China is claiming a lot of things that originated from South Korea. So it makes total sense for knetz to react this way.

    • how is this appropriating chinese culture when the outrage is them using chinese food when the setting is near the border of Ming dynasty, when korean is actually under the chinese.

      the bigger backlash is the depiction of the historic figure which is all korean figure without any Chinese related things inside of it.

      Your comment sounds like just because Chinese drama has found its footing, we should stomp them back since it took the Kdrama place earlier. Come on, Hongkong, Taiwan and Jdrama was once dominated the market before Kdrama.

      Rather than blaming the propaganda, it more like people can’t see their historical figure seen as a gritty human being in a zombie apocalyptic setting than any cultural appropriation, also aren’t the chinese should’ve been mad cause of their culture was the one being stolen here based on your logic? smh

      • @pppp I agree that the other Asian dramas you mentioned were dominating way before K-dramas came along.

        Also to the OP, the only thing Korean about K-pop is them [mostly] singing in the Korean language. Everything else about it was appropriated from another culture. Even the industry bigwigs admit it.

        And given their problematic to the point of mocking portrayals of other cultures in K-dramas, I say karma is a female dog.

  23. Omg Knetizen are really something. So much drama and complaining everytime. They should had realized that most of their well known drama are influenced by the Cdrama. Some hypocrisy!

    • I think its not just about the Chinese props but also about how they negatively portrayed the king(real king in history),

      • The guy was a tyrant. I actually have mutual acquaintance who is a direct descendent of the deposed crown prince that king sejong was eventually chosen over that said their family believed the reason why their ancestor acted horribly and spent all his time on women and vices was because he wanted taejong to depose him. He knew that if he became king, his loved ones will be slaughtered and true enough that was the fate of king sejong’s wife’s family. He killed all his son’s in-laws. He was no Yoo Ah In please. The dude was infamously ruthless and cruel.

  24. ooh now i get it, it is so frustrating seeing a promising drama goes into such a waste!i hope this become a lesson to the upcoming sageuks, now im scared for the Hong chun gi and Bossam

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