Seoul Court Denies Injunction Request in Lawsuit Filed by Korean Civic Rights Group to Stop jTBC From Airing Snowdrop

I think jTBC did not set out to give a different take on the late 1980’s student democracy protests and the actions of the military government in cracking down but it ended up shooting itself in the foot regardless with Snowdrop. By combining that real life era and events with a made up North Korean spy in South Korea fiction, it was a tinder waiting to explode and the network should have realized that in March 2021 when the first complaints started. Now it’s mired in low ratings 5-episodes in and complaints from both sides of the political spectrum – the liberals think it’s distorting the history of the democracy protests and the conservatives are pissed it’s romanticizing the North Korea spy into a swoony male lead who feels tortured emotions and is righteous. It’s actually pretty fun that the two SK political factions, who hate each side, are united in hating this drama. But the legal system remains clearheaded and today the Seoul District Court ruled on an emergency injunction motion brought by a South Korean Civic Rights Group in its lawsuit filed against jTBC last week demanding the network stop airing Snowdrop. The Court denied the motion because there is no law against distorting the democracy movement and in this case there is a very low likelihood anyone watching the drama would actually believe this fictional take to be true. So there you have it, Snowdrop can keep airing and everyone can chill the F-out and perhaps go back to critiquing it on its merits – acting, directing, and story development.


Seoul Court Denies Injunction Request in Lawsuit Filed by Korean Civic Rights Group to Stop jTBC From Airing Snowdrop — 16 Comments

  1. The proper response to a disappointing show is to let it die on the vine of criticism and poor viewer ratings – not to sue the production and get it pulled. There is a disturbing authoritarianism and cultural chauvinism behind moves like getting this show or Joseon Exorcist canceled

  2. It’s a relief that the legal system remains clearheaded on this and I expect the government will have the same standpoint. I don’t think it’s right to stop fiction like that from a democratic and freedom of speech point of view unless the show is an documentary that are presenting false facts. People are already hating this show so much and there’s so much badwill, it’s for jtbc to handle the consequences of it and if they wish to push ahead then let it. I actually admire that they are sticking with the show (so far anyway) but unfortunately the show has bigger problems than the sensitive political issue. The female lead is so bad at acting omg I dropped it after first episode…

    Tbh the controversy regarding Joseon exorcist pales in comparison to the uproar with Snow Drop, it’s a pity that SBS wasn’t brave enough to endure and fell for group pressure instead

    • Yeah, setting aside all the problems with Snowdrop (I am still watching though the premise is very problematic), if I were a drama producer, I’d at least be assured that JTBC will have my back. Most employers find underlings so disposable, especially more so with this cancel culture.

    • I have not been a huge fan of jTBC in recent years because, honestly, I *detest* noona dramas but I really respect them for not backing down.

    • Nah, with regards to Joseon Exorcist, it was more the fact because sponsors pulled out while it was still in production that caused it to be cancelled. No more money to continue filming and editing.

      Snowdrop already finished production, so they don’t need any more financing from sponsors anyway, so they aren’t subject to same constraints.

    • I’m carrying on with it despite the female lead’s terrible acting. The drama is a great distraction and is getting sort of makjang-y. I’m happy jtbc isn’t backing down. This new entitlement of knetz where they can bully productions into cancellation was getting tiring.

  3. In my opinion, only documentaries programs need to be accurate. This is drama, just sit back and watch (without checking history articles), if you like it, continue. If you don’t like it, stop watching. Why go to such extent for a mere 16-ep drama, wasting taxpayers money by involving the court. Even the things in “The Red Sleeve” is based on the novel writer’s imagination.

  4. Snowdrop is such a good drama is enough for me. Oh it doing great in Disneyplus too. No 2 in SK & many more countries I don’t remember.

    • Joseon wasn’t done filming, and sponsors were pulling out. The filming location as well banned the production from continuing to film on their site. They had no choice. Snowdrop is done filming. Even if the sponsors were “pulling out”, it’s basically just asking for their association to be removed.

  5. SBS vs. cable and it lost all of its sponsors. It wasn’t pre-produced like Snowdrop so there was really no way it could continue filming once the sponsors pulled out. If it was just anger over the storyline, it may have had a chance, but the Chinese props and writer controversy came at the wrong time.

  6. Also, Snowdrop had investment money from Disney and the Chinese company, tencent. Snowdrop losing a few sponsors just means the return on investment will just be lower. All the paychecks to the actors and staff must have already been doled out and cashed.

    I agree with the court’s ruling though I will have trouble looking at JTBC Studios and the writer the same way again. It was just handled poorly even though they had 9 months to prep.

    This works out for the best – the reputational ding and the lower-than-anticipated ratings is the punishment for them and the controversy (which caught a large international audience due to the drama starring a member of blackpink) taught everyone about that period in korean history. In the end, the backlash reaffirmed the history and the lived experiences that the drama was distorting.

    The families of the victims of that time period were hurt, but having so many koreans rally together to petition the korean government to remove the drama will hopefully be some consolation to having their wounds dug up again.

    • That is an optimistic way of looking at things. I was appalled a few years back when Koreans elected the daughter of a dictator as president, but to nobody’s surprise, she turned out to be the kind of person she is. Good thing, Koreans came to their senses.

      Now, my country is on the verge of repeating the mistakes of the past with the upcoming elections. If “Snowdrop” was a drama produced in my country, there will be too many defenders locally. At least, my impression of “Snowdrop” apologists is that they are mostly international viewers or Black & Pink fans.

  7. It also not good like, the acting is subpar, the setting is pretty but inaccurate and the dramatisation failed to make any splash.

    Has this didn’t get into historical controversy, it’s on its way for the drama plot and acting controversy, albeit not as bigger. Disappointing

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