On January 10, 2022, a tweet from Bae Keung Yoon @kbae38 shared a link to an “Open Letter” addressed to Walt Disney‘s Asia Pacific President Luke Kang about the JTBC-produced K-Drama Snowdrop.
The series has, as mentioned in the open letter, “already courted significant controversy” since the premiere—triggering nationwide organized movements like boycotting the series sponsors and petitioning with the South Korean Blue House to cancel the broadcast. And while JTBC has once released a statement on the “misunderstandings” regarding the series, the strive to stop the series from streaming has been ongoing.
As an assistant professor of Korean studies at Georgia Institute of Technology, Bae took part in drafting the letter—alongside 25 fellow professors, assistant professors, and Ph.D. candidates in Korean Studies, East Asian Studies, International Affairs, Languages, Cultures, and more.
— K. Y. Bae 배경윤 (@kbae38) January 10, 2022
The letter asked Luke Kang to “request that [the] company seek experts — there are many, well-qualified modern Korean history experts in Korea and all over the world — to carefully examine the historical references made in the show.” Additionally, Bae and the “scholars of Korea” asked Walt Disney and the Disney+ platform to consider how “the historical details contained in the show, in tandem with its place on [the] far-reaching platform, have raised enough concerns.”
The letter also detailed two points of concerns which led to the scholars writing “[the] letter…asking for thoughtful consideration when distributing the show globally.”
Neither Luke Kang nor Disney+ has responded to the open letter. Meanwhile, the scholars have made it clear that they “stand behind [the] letter and the points argued within.”
Disney Plus clearly has ambitious and exciting plans for South Korean content on its platform…and is making headway into numerous Asian markets as we write this. We hope that, with this immense access and reach, the company also takes note of the responsibility it has as a platform, and reflects on the kind of media content it makes available around the world.
— Signees of the Open Letter