Jennie and Jisoo of BLACKPINK both faced great difficulties with their debut acting projects, drawing unwarranted criticisms.
In particular, a few days ago, “The Idol,” a television series co-produced by HBO and The Weeknd, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Almost immediately later, the drama received negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes due to its explicit content.
In fact, Kyle Buchanan, a critic from The New York Times, even compared “The Idol” to the sex-filled “50 Shades of Gray” and described the series as, “A Pornhub-homepage odyssey starring Lily Rose Depp’s areolas and The Weeknd’s greasy rat tail.”
Meanwhile, The Playlist described the series as a trashy, crude, vulgar, and gender-discriminatory work, while the Daily Telegraph didn’t hesitate to call HBO’s new television series an awkward project accompanied by the worst dialogue of the year.
However, since “The Idol” was announced, it has garnered attention from the media due to the participation of BLACKPINK Jennie. The BLACKPINK member played the role of Dyanne, the supporting dancer and friend of female lead Jocelyn (played by Lily-Rose Depp). This character had limited screen time, appearing throughout six episodes with a bold fashion style and an enchanting smile.
Against strong criticisms about “The Idol”, which was revealed to be “rapey” and “an always-on male fantasy”, many K-pop fans found it hard to understand why Jennie agreed to participate in such a series.
According to Rolling Stone, “The Idol” was initially directed by Amy Seimetz, only for the female director to abruptly leave after 80% of the film was shot. Instead, director Sam Levinson (known for his success with “Euphoria”) took over, resulting in drastic changes to the storyline.
It is therefore likely that the project that Jennie selected to join may be completely different from the end result.
Below are some comments from netizens regarding Jennie’s appearance in “The Idol”
- Jennie made an extremely dangerous move with this series. Being a Korean participating in a Western R-rated film, she must have received mixed reviews. YG’s decision in this case might have been a mistake, as it is severely affecting Jennie’s image as an idol
- “The Idol” is overly sexualized. It was already a mistake for her to accept the role, especially considering its explicitness and the fact that it is indirectly mocking the idol industry
- The content of this series is disgusting. Why did Jennie appear in a project like this?
Meanwhile, when interviewed by the media at Cannes Film Festival, Jennie expressed her enthusiasm for the script and her focus on her character. According to the female idol, she had extensive discussions with the new director, Sam Levinson, received valuable advice from him, and considered her role to be an opportunity to be herself and become courageous.
With Jennie’s acting debut shrouded in controversies, many people started to recall the just-as-turbulent debut project of Jennie’s fellow member, Jisoo.
In particular, “Snowdrop”, a K-drama that features Jisoo’s first leading role, faced viewers’ requests to stop airing due to allegations of “history distortion”. The project, directed by Jo Hyun Tak, is set in 1987, during South Korea’s democracy movement.
At the time, a wave of outrage led to over 300,000 petition signatures sent to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Commission, demanding for the cancellation of “Snowdrop”. The incident also caused 20 brands to cease their promotional collaborations with the K-drama, even requesting the producers to remove scenes featuring their sponsored products.
Amidst conflicting opinions, JTBC, the network and production company, stated that “Snowdrop” does not distort history, and the controversial scenes will be clarified in the later parts of the series. In the end, “Snowdrop” continued to air, but waves of criticisms continued without end.
As lead actors in “Snowdrop”, Jisoo and Jung Hae In, alongside the producers and crew, was buried in harsh comments. The two stars received numerous attacks and continuous backlash on their personal social media accounts for agreeing to participate in this project.
It took a long time for the backlash against “Snowdrop” and all related personnel to finally end.
“History distortion” controversy aside, Jisoo’s acting in the drama was considered decent, if not impressive for an idol’s acting debut. It was a tough pay-off, but “Snowdrop” got viewers to appreciate Jisoo more as an actress.