‘Snowdrop’: New Korean series receives backlash as it airs on Disney+ 

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Recently, there has been an increase in Asian representation in media; movies like “Crazy Rich Asians” to “Parasite” and even “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” have been an encouraging push toward showcasing Asian and Asian American talent in the spotlight. When news broke out that “Snowdrop,” a Korean series, was coming to Disney+, the Asian community was looking forward to seeing more of that representation, however it fell short on many levels.  

“Snowdrop” is centered around the Korean conflict in 1987 when South Korea was undergoing a movement toward democracy. This period in Korean history is marked by the tremendous struggle South Koreans faced fighting for democracy. Mass amounts of young protesters, specifically college students, gathered in the streets to protest against an unjust authoritarian government. Consequently, they were severely punished by the government for doing so.  

One viewer tweeted: “Watch Snowdrop all you want but please do not try and say it’s real history now. Read books. Watch other media pieces that tell the true story. Listen to the Koreans who fought…”  

Many South Koreans feel that “Snowdrop” diminishes the pain and hard work of those who fought hard for democracy in their country. They believe that this story reframes the narrative of what actually happened and softens the violent actions of the South Korean government toward its citizens. By romanticizing this crisis, modern viewers lose appreciation for the sacrifices made by past generations who have paved the way for democracy and freedom.  

“Snowdrop” took the “forbidden love” trope and ran with it — we see a university student played by Blackpink’s Jisoo and a North Korean spy played by Jung Hae-in fall for one another. Without context, the combination of an entertaining storyline and good acting may make the series easy to watch without a second thought. But, it is imperative that we preserve history so that the people of today do not gloss over the painful history of those before us. 

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