tvN Receives Hundreds of Complaints for Recently Premiered Weekend Sageuk Queen Cheorin

Oh wow, I’m neither surprised but still befuddled by so much ado about nothing. tvN was ready to celebrate the successful premiere of weekend fantasy sageuk Queen Cheorin (Mr. Queen), debuting with the second highest weekend ratings for the network and improving in the next episode. Either viewers didn’t get the memo that it was “fantasy”, hello time-travel and body-swapping!, or they just have too much time on their hands because the network has been inundated with complaints since it premiered. In three days its gotten 736 citizen’s protest written to the network. The complaints range from “distorting history”, “demeaning real historical figures”, “lowering the reverence for real cultural assets”, and “sexual harassment glorified onscreen.” I’ve read K-netizens online whining and there’s also anger at the drama adapting the Chinese novel and drama Go Princess Go as the writer of the original work had another novel that was deemed to be “anti-Korean” for using Korean-esque characters and country in a negative way. Sigh, I’m not sure if this will impact ratings for future episodes but right now there is a vocal contingent ragging on Queen Cheorin left and right.


tvN Receives Hundreds of Complaints for Recently Premiered Weekend Sageuk Queen Cheorin — 30 Comments

  1. It’s interesting how much authoritative this sounds, does SK have anti-censorship laws? The Netizens claims are a little ridiculous, the character that are portrayed negatively in the drama are basically described in history for their behaviors. It will be sad if the drama is altered as a result.

  2. Ha, can’t say I’m surprised. They can be an oversensitive bunch. But in a way, I also don’t blame them too much. Some of Jong Hwan’s “one-dimensional horndog“ antics in EP2 irritated me a bit.

    Ha, imagine the heart attacks though if the show went “there”. Lol. But I don’t think the drama would dare. I’m curious to see if next week’s ratings will be affected by this.

  3. I did not even know that it was based on ‘historical figures’, I was just immensely enjoying this series that is off to a fantastic start 🙂 I don’t think the traits depicted of the King, Queen etc. in this series are any different from what has been depicted in many many series before not just in SKorea but other countries too – lots of dangerous ambitions, backstabbing, manipulation, dumb politicians etc. I suppose having very vocal netizens can be both good (it can hold people accountable in some situations) and bad (can impact artistic license, creativity) At any rate, I hope the show will continue to be super fun and entertaining.

  4. SK gives so much freedom for their movies (there’re many mocking the king and queen of Joseon) but somehow so conservative on their dramas. Interesting

  5. No surprises at all. That is why I said earlier in another post that some drama productions have started filming quietly without any leads/agencies’ official confirmations. Better to shoot a few episodes first then show them to a focus group test audience to weed out any “controversies/issues/offensive” parts. At least there is still time to re-write, edit or re-shoot certain scenes that are deemed sensitive. SK domestic audience can very sensitive reg. history and you do not know which way they swing. There is this concept called shame-honour which is very ingrained in certain Asian countries. Reputation and face-saving is everything. Perhaps Western fans have difficulty understanding this concept as it’s not that prevalent in Western countries. If a SK fan perceive that their culture and history is being made fun of, shamed or degraded even in comedies/fantasy dramas by another rival country, they will be very feisty in defending the honour of their history and culture. In this case, the source material originated from China. Perhaps the recent bashing of BTS by Chinese media and some Chinese Army fans criticising BTS leader for thanking Korean war veterans for their sacrifices triggered all the resentment and hostilities carried over from that incident making SK drama watchers super sensitive again.

    • I actually thought the same thing re: the recent kerfluffles with China. I have seen plenty of historicals that have taken a lot of liberties and no one has cared. I think it is the timing.

    • yeah, sensitive when other people point out our flaws but we can do it ourself.

      just talk about this work specifically, the original author didn’t talk about the korean, it’s the scriptwriter.

      It reminds me of how shock I am when I watch the untold scandal, eondal, the throne, the royal tailor and just korean historical movie. But Sungkyungkwan scandal, rookie historian, jang ok jung, empress ki, rooftop prince, the war of flowers, they also didn’t portray the past as that good. Queen for 7 days even have the yonsangun that the viewer want to symphatise.

      It’s patriotism.

  6. knetz are soo “obaa” already pre-covid. what more when they’re more people at home. they’ll nitpick at something, esp if the source material came from japan and/or china.

  7. After watching the second episode, as funny as it was, I found it too crass. It’s very different from the original, Chinese Go Go Princes series. In the Go Go the male in princess’s body was very subtle, funny and not sexually offensive. The original drama was a silly fun with the equally effeminate male and female actors alike. The supposedly “male in female body” queen was still behaving like a lady, not a drunken horny sailer that Shin Hye Sun play so well in Korean version. It will be interesting to see how they can avoid the inappropriate (for Korean TV’s censorship) sexual scenes with the obviously transgender queen character. Shifting the blame on the original Chinese author alone won’t work.

    • The princess in Go Princess Go kept staring at actual exposed cleavage of her fellow concubine while bathing and then in one other scene hung on to another concubines leg sniffing it. So, take your BS elsewhere love. The hate is kinda obvious.

      • I’m entitled to my opinion and can post it wherever and whenever I desire, just like everyone else. Freedom of speech. Bet you never heard of it. Learn to tolerate diverse opinions hun, or go hide in your safe space, in case God forbid you might get offended.

      • I am sorry you started with a point that is completely false saying things like in the original Chinese drama, the girl was lady like and not lusting over other girls like this version which is tame compared to that and now you are suddenly entitled to an opinion after I’ve pointed it out..and so what if she is playing non binary character…what’s your issue? Do you dislike non binary/queer people? Is this what your opinion is about?

    • Yes, I understand your point, I did not see the original drama and I do not know what the story is about, but while I was laughing at the chapter I also thought how the Korean public will take a story and a context like that.

    • I literally just watched Go Princess Go in preparation for this drama and s/he literally invites the other concubines to touch them, goes to the brothel, feels up on the hand-maid, calls the handmaid “baby” and makes suggestive comments about how they want to sleep with the handmaid.

      Just because the k-drama lead sits a certain way doesnt mean suddenly the c-drama version was less crass lmaooo. You’re factually incorrect.

  8. TVN seems to be pushing the boundaries of sexual harassment depiction in their recent dramas. Some quarters complained about it in IONTBO with Seo Yea Ji’s FL appearing to be over-sexually aggressive with KSH’s ML character. The great divide of SK domestic audience (comprising mostly older ajummas) versus streaming’s younger demographic watchers. TVN’s aim to get more of their dramas into Netlfix may yet signal more Hollywood type of narratives being pushed i.e overt sexual aggression, blurring of male-female genders, downplaying historical elements, challenging traditional portrayals of gender,etc.

    • @gem See? You find offense where none exists. What homophobia and transphobia? I simply pointed out that the Chinese version is more tastefully done than Korean one.
      You are on the entertainment blog about Asian dramas. Learn to read between the lines. Not everyone’s first language or culture, or tastes are similar to yours, oh so woke than everyone else here westerner. Should I worship your opinion just cuz you are an American or whatever? See? I can easily accuse you of being racist. Just like you scream at others that they are homophobic when you don’t like or understand their opinions.

      • I’m not “American”, just not conservative. I too read between the lines and see the gendered language in this comments section.

        The real controversy is how much of the lead actresses behavior reminds people that while the character’s body is a female, the mind is a male. The real offense for people is that the “unfeminine” behavior makes them uncomfortable.

        In the C-drama, they had four different endings just to appease people that are homophobic. That’s the truth.

  9. I know it will still do well ratings wise.. Mr . Sunshine was also criticised for distorting history but look , it came out to be one of the highest rated drama at that time..

  10. I haven’t watched it, but if Knetz were so offended by the portrayal of historical figures, then they should get more offended when Deokman aka Queen Seondeok loved Bidam, the traitor.

  11. ngl I love Korean culture but hate the conservative, narrow-minded self righteousness that drives netizen hate.

    I think most nationalistic thinking people around the world are like this. They are not flexible or open to change at all.
    My Korean friends that have emigrated all say that being different is shamed in society to the point of being stifling.

    That sort of thinking drives this hate toward media.

  12. Lol at all the comments praising the IQ lowering C-drama. I watched the whole thing because I liked the satire and the lead actress but quite frankly, the OTP made no sense:

    -The hero was hung up over the mistress for 80% of the episodes
    -The hero slapped the “heroine”, publicly humiliated her many times, and then always came back and said please dont hate me for that but you made me do it.
    -The hero tried to kill the “heroine”
    -The hero faked a poisoning just to test the “heroine’s” love for him.
    -The hero raped the “heroine” by having sex with when they were drunk. The “heroine” did not consent to this. The hero then kicked the “heroine” out of the carriage and made them walk home
    -The “heroine” politically supported the 9th Prince for majority of the drama.
    -The “heroine” only politically supported the king after having the baby and to protect the baby. A pregnancy that happened because she was raped btw.
    -The hero threatened the “heroine” with death if they tried to abort btw.

    I can list a lot more. This is the drama people are calling “more tasteful” than the Korean version lmaooooooo. I cannot. It’s only two episodes and the Korean version already has more depth and sense than the C-version.

    • You are right. Even when China has more stricter censorship rules for their drama’s contents, it is funny that the scenes and plots for Chinese historical dramas can be more racier and extreme than Korean historical dramas heh

      If this drama is extreme/racy to them, imagine if one day a Korean drama’s producer want to remake angstier Chinese historical drama like Goodbye My Princess. The Knetizen’s reactions will be more wild LOL

      I like the two episodes of this drama so far and I want the king and queen to develop mutual romance relationship since Shin Hye Sun and Kim Jung Hyun have great chemistry together.

      But I wonder how they will make the king and queen consummate their marriage with both of them being sober and consented about it in this version since the male soul in queen’s body is more firm in his rejection to the king than the Chinese version. Or maybe they won’t show this royal couple consummation at all especially with the all those complaints from local netizen sighhh

      Since this is pre produced drama,maybe they also will cut out some scenes with all these backlashes. I just hope the plot won’t become disjointed or choppy after being edited. I’m sad:’-(

    • I don’t think these scenes will appear the director say that he just take the fact that a male under in the body of the queen. The rest will be totally different.

  13. I’ve watched the 2 episodes and actually had some LOL moments.
    I’m enjoying it and appreciate that they’re really trying to show it’s a guy’s soul/mind in a female’s body. She’s mostly successful except I wish that she copied more of the guy’s mannerisms from the present. She’s a bit more excitable and hyper (though some could be excused due to the weird circumstances)than the tall actor from the present.

    I don’t know much abt korean history so I don’t know if and how much they distort but it’s a fantasy and dramas take creative license to change things most of the time anyway so I don’t get how this time it’s such a travesty?!

    As for the sexual haraassment, I guess I didn’t think it exceeded much. He was characterized as a major flirt and lady killer so he tried to flirt with ladies even in joseon era. It’s like he’s landed in paradise with all these ladies LOL.

    I hope they don’t change much to try to appease these people. As ratings would show, more people like it than those that complain abt it.
    I’m really curious how they’ll turn this into a romance bec Mr Queen is so very straight alpha male. And the king is into this other girl.

    I hope they don’t back off bec it’s quite a unique set up for korean dramas, if you think about it, it’s actually a BL story, unless they just turn it into a bromance? LOL. I’m interested in how they’ll go from pt A to pt B.

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