Jang Dong Yoon has personally issued an apology to address the controversy surrounding “Joseon Exorcist,” he’s the first actor in the drama to come out with his own personal apology statement.
“Joseon Exorcist” became controversial soon after it aired its first episode, it was under fire for using Chinese props and for distorting history. Two days after the premiere of the drama, SBS announced their decision to cancel it and take it off air.
On March 27, Jang Dong Yoon released a personal apology through his agency, he wrote,
“Hello, I’m actor Jang Dong Yoon. I thought a lot about it. I am writing to many people who are waiting for my thoughts and position as one of the main characters in the “Joseon Exorcist”, hoping that even if its lacking, it will be an honest and sincere apology.
There’s no room for excuses. I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t fully realize that this work would be such a problem. That’s because I was ignorant and complacent. I only looked at the work from the perspective of the actor who plays a creative work. I overlooked what I should look at from a societal perspective. It was a very big mistake.
Based solely on the fact that I would have the opportunity to work with a respectable director, great seniors, and fellow actors, I had no reason to refuse this work. I believed that it was the best choice considering many things in my limited options. As I said before, this is too, because I was foolish.
Believing that people can live proudly if they lack moral flaws, I have always tried my best to be strict in keeping myself in line. But now that this kind of shameful and mortifying incident happened in relation to my work, I’m filled with regret.
I know with the love and attention of the public that I am able to work as an actor. So even if you think of this as an excuse contrary to my intentions, I will humbly accept it. I didn’t want to make an emotional plea or write something that would evoke sympathy, but in the process of trying to be sincere in expressing my feelings, I think it became that kind of statement, so I apologize once again for that.
However, if you generously look kindly on [my role in this issue], I’d like to engrave this incident in my heart and remember it forever while showing you good works in the future as a more mature actor.”
Jang Dong Yoon is being praised by k-netizens for his statement and for being one of the first to apologize for the controversy.
What do you think of his apology?
Personal Thoughts- by Jazmine K.
I believe more of the cast will follow soon with apology statements.
While many believe that the producers and screenwriter should be the ones taking the full blame, I think its not fully right. While I do agree that the screenwriter made a huge lapse in judgment and the production company should’ve carefully looked over the props used, the actors are also part of this production and have had the opportunity to reject or accept it when they were offered the roles.
It’s also an actor responsibility to deeply consider if he/she wants to portray whatever character in whatever setting, if they choose to play a character that is objectively terrible [for example] but is portrayed ‘nicely,’ that’s also on them. Actors can affect the way people see things. This isn’t only about “Joseon Exorcist” but other actors and dramas as well.
I think many actors not only in Korea but around the world are waking up and realizing that their portrayal of certain characters; especially if they’re based on actual real-life human beings; can have effects on the way the general public sees it.
I am not Korean so I wouldn’t have known there was an issue if I read the script, but I understand why people would have reservations about such a plot being made. It’s not my position or right to dismiss the way k-netizens feel about this drama since its not my history or my country’s story.
Jang Dong Yoon was the first to apologize which says a lot about his character, this makes me respect him even more as an actor. It’s nice to see that he recognizes what the issue meant precisely and where he was wrong. He could’ve ignored it and acted like nothing happened but he didn’t. He would’ve probably also gotten away with almost no backlash but he chose to release this statement.
It’s a sad situation. I’ve been watching kdramas for a decade and I’ve seen a lot happen but I think I’ve rarely seen such a thing ever take place, a drama canceled in its entirety like this. I don’t think anyone could’ve anticipated that. I legitimately thought this was going to be the next SBS hit.
It’s truly a shame this happened, mistakes were made and I hope they people involved learn from them.