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"Mr. Queen"' production team apologizes over line 'belittling' Korea's national treasure

The production team of tvN's "Mr. Queen," a fusion of historical drama and fiction, has apologized over a controversial line that some people say belittled Korea's national treasure ― the Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty.

In the drama's second episode aired on Dec. 13, protagonist Kim So-yong (Queen Cheorin) ― played by Shin Hye-sun ― described the treasure as a "tabloid" that failed to provide authentic information about the 25th king of Joseon, Cheoljong (1831-1863) ― played by Kim Jung-hyun. The line immediately stirred debate among viewers, some of whom said the TV series played down the records listed in UNESCO's Memory of the World registry.

"We admit that the line was inappropriate ― we took this seriously and deleted that part," the production crew said Tuesday. "We also did not intend to depict any historical event or figure negatively, but wanted to give a laugh to people through our work. But we apologize for causing discomfort and will be more careful in the future."

The team also apologized for the controversy surrounding the Chinese writer of its original novel.

"Mr. Queen" is a Korean rendition of the Chinese web series "Go Princess Go" (2015), which is based on the novel by Xian Cheng. The writer has been in hot water here for allegedly revealing her anti-Korean sentiments by repeatedly using words like "bangzi" ― a derogatory Chinese term referring to Koreans ― in her novel "Heqin Gongzhu."

"When we were signing a deal to remake 'Go Princess Go,' we did not know that there were negative remarks over Korea in Xian's other work," the team said. "We only learned this through online communities after we began producing Mr. Queen."

"We are sorry for this and will strive to differentiate our drama from the original work so that our viewers will not be offended."

"Mr. Queen" follows a man from the modern age whose spirit accidentally gets trapped in the body of Queen Cheorin (1837-1878) in the Joseon era.

It got off to a good start in terms of viewership, with its first and second episodes garnering 8 and 8.8 percent viewership nationwide, according to Nielsen Korea. The drama airs every Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m. (KST).





source: The Korea Times
Tags: culture, drama
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