KEY POINTS

  • An online community called for the boycott of brands supporting "Snowdrop" 
  • Brands supporting the drama withdrew their sponsorships following strong backlash from online users
  • A petition calling for the drama's cancelation gained over 200,000 signatures Monday

The controversy surrounding "Snowdrop" has snowballed into sponsorship withdrawals after participants of an online community urged people to boycott companies supporting the drama.

An online petition calling for the cancelation of "Snowdrop" on the website of the National Petition Board of the Blue House (South Korea's executive office) has quickly gained momentum. More than 200,000 people signed the petition Monday to stop the airing of the drama.

After the airing of the first two episodes of the drama over the weekend, online users trooped to the Korean online community, The Qoo, and rallied each other to boycott the companies appearing in the drama. One user not only kept tabs of all the brands mentioned in the drama but also updated the online community about the pull-out of sponsorships for "Snowdrop."

The drama stars Blackpink's Jisoo and Jung Hae-In and tells the story of a North Korean spy who was mistaken as a student protester. Wounded and exhausted from a long chase by authorities, Suho (played by Jung) ends up in a university dorm. He is found by Young Ro (played by Jisoo), who cares for him thinking he is a pro-democracy activist. The pair evades authorities as authorities search for Suho.

The drama experienced its first opposition in March with concerned citizens saying it distorts history and mocks supporters of the democratic movement, including those who died after they were tortured and killed as the government tried to suppress political unrest. TV network JTBC had earlier explained that the characters do not represent government organizations but apparently, it did nothing to appease concerns about the drama.

Advertisers, including P&J Group, have announced their decision to withdraw support for the drama Monday. P&J Group said they were "unaware of the content" of "Snowdrop" when they made their initial investment. P&J is the drama's biggest sponsor, Koreaboo said.

Organic food brand Ssarijai also announced the withdrawal of sponsorship. Fashion brand Ganisong said it was "never informed of the script's synopsis in the sponsorship request."

This is not the first time Korean users have lodged a protest against a drama. The controversial series "Joseon Exorcist" was axed in March, just after two episodes following criticisms on historical inaccuracies and the use of Chinese props. 

Jisoo Blackpink's member Jisoo Photo: sooyaaa/Instagram