A heated debate is going on online as JTBC decided to air a replay of “Snowdrop” instead of broadcasting President Moon Jae-in’s last New Year Address.
President Moon Jae-in announced his New Year Address at the presidential office on Jan 3rd. President Moon Jae-in said, “In the new year of 2022, we will completely overcome the crisis and make it the first year for us to return to normality,” expressing his willingness to do his best until the end of his term, saying, “We will open an era to be written down in history where we are the world’s pioneers.”
As the presidential election is set to take place on March 9th this year, it was President Moon Jae-in’s last New Year Address. Accordingly, President Moon Jae-in’s New Year Address was broadcast live on three terrestrial broadcasters as well as TV Chosun, MBN, and Channel A.
However, JTBC organized reruns of episodes 6 and 7 of “Snowdrop,” and did not even report about the New Year Address in the form of a news alert in the middle of its drama broadcast. When the controversies related to “Snowdrop” erupted for the first time in March last year, JTBC said, “Some parts of the uncompleted synopsis were leaked”. They also asked the viewers, “Please watch the broadcast”, in response to audiences’ suspicions of “Snowdrop” depicting the romance between a spy and a female college student.
However, after episode 1 was aired, a petition to oppose “Snowdrop” broadcast was sent to the Blue House. Netizens accused the drama of violating the National Security Act, such as glorifying spies, and demanded the suspension of the “Snowdrop” broadcasting. The application for an injunction against “Snowdrop” broadcast was refused. Then, JTBC said, “We are suffering from damages due to the spread of false information about ‘Snowdrop’”, adding, “We will take strong action in order to protect the rights of our creators and contents”. JTBC’s statement eventually received more negative reactions, such as, “You are trying to block even appropriate criticisms?”
The organization of broadcasts is under the authority of the broadcasting station. However, their decision to not air the President’s New Year Address live, amidst the situation of “Snowdrop” still getting criticized for distorting history and disparaging the democratization movement, drew divided reactions.