“The King: Eternal Monarch” is under controversy for something netizens have noticed at the beginning of the first and second episode.
In the introduction part, the two parallel worlds are split into contrasting opposite sides with the imperial part facing the modern day Korea. Netizens noticed that the imperial part eerily resembles Japanese architecture design and modules after a famous Japanese Buddhist temple.
The buildings that are suspected to have inspired the designs are the Japanese temple complex Tōdai-ji and a five-story pagoda in Japan’s temple of Kōfuku-ji. Others also saw similarities between the imperial seal for the fictional Korean empire and the real imperial seal of Japan which caused even more backlash.
This caused the drama huge backlash for using something inspired by Japanese history to reflect the Korean palace feel. News outlets began covering stories about the error and the drama gained more negative attention because of it.
Koreans are also known for being sensitive about issues relating to Japan so the backlash was taken seriously considering how the design is being used to express something relating to Korean history but instead inspired by Japanese design.
“The King: Eternal Monarch” production team was heavily criticized especially considering the drama budget, many netizens pointed out how the staff should’ve paid closer attention to such important details considering the scale of the drama.
Following the backlash, “The King: Eternal Monarch” production company, Hwa&Dam Pictures, issued an official apology explaining their point of the view about the design of the imperial palace.
“The fact in the process of designing the virtual space for the Korean palace we didn’t pay closer attention to the details is an obvious mistake by the production team regardless of the reason, we sincerely apologize.
The production team will revise the opening immediately,”
They also promised to replace such parts in the reruns and VOD services; they ended their statement with another apology vowing to work harder to make a good drama.
What do you think of this?
My Personal Thoughts
There is no way I could’ve realized this since I am not Korean or Japanese but that was a bad PR mistake on their part.
I don’t have the right to speak about whether Koreans should be upset or not since I know they don’t have the best history with Japan, and I am not a Korean. However, I am surprised such an important detail was overlooked by the production team, especially considering how big this drama is and how much it was hyped.
I hope this doesn’t affect them in the ratings.