“The King: Eternal Monarch” has been caught in controversy again.
“The King: Eternal Monarch” tells the story of two parallel universes: one with a democracy that is similar to modern-day Korea and one that is an alternative universe in which Korea is an empire ruled by a monarch.
Previously, the drama was under fire for using images of Japanese buildings to model the fictional Korean Empire. The production team apologized and edited the footage so that it doesn’t appear anymore.
A similar issue has popped up after netizens saw the 6th episode which contained a naval battle scene between the Korean Empire and Japan. It was pointed out that the Japanese warships with Japanese flags were similar in design to current Korean warships.
While it might not seem like a big deal for an outsider, it is better understood in the context of the long history of conflict between the two countries. This is tied to Japanese war crimes during the time it colonized Korea in 1910 which led to many issues such as Japan’s use of Koreans as forced laborers and “comfort women” (sexual slaves) during World War II.
This is why even the deception of fictional Korean history that seems to be influenced by Japanese tradition can become controversy and gets viewed very negatively. That’s what happened with “The King: Eternal Monarch.”
Following the controversy, “The King: Eternal Monarch” producing director (PD) Baek Sang Hoon released an official statement apologizing for it.
He says that they used 3D modeling and CGI to edit the battleships,
“As a director, I’d like to sincerely apologize for causing this controversy. Regardless of the reasons, but I can tell you we didn’t intend to put the Japanese flag on our Korean warships or mislead viewers into mistaking our Korean warships as Japanese warships.”
He goes on to explain that the particular scene filming took place in Korea around mid-January using open source reference materials. He stated that they were preparing to film for the material needed for the CGI in the Japanese part overseas at the end of January, however, due to COVID-19, it became impossible to shoot overseas. Thus, they resorted to shooting scenes focusing on the actors and used paid video reference materials, and 3D editing.
The PD then added that since he’s not an expert in warships, he couldn’t recognize the specific characteristics of warships, he says they shoulder the responsibility and should have contracted experts to supervise such content,
“I sincerely apologize for causing discomfort to viewers due to my desire in wanting to make up for the incomplete parts using the current situation and lack of time as an excuse, as well as my complacency of not checking every detail as I should have.
In the future, as one of the people who understand our nation’s history, I promise to look carefully into the details. I would like to apologize once again.”
He ended his statement promising to edit the footage as soon as possible so that viewers will not feel uncomfortable watching re-runs.
What are your thoughts on this?