The drama “The Story Park’s Marriage Contract” has been embroiled in a controversy over allegations of unauthorized use of hanbok designs.
The drama, which has been dominating the ratings and is currently airing as the top show in its time slot, tells the story of a 19th-century desire-oriented Confucian girl named Park Yeon-woo (played by Lee Se Young) and a 21st-century emotionless master, Kang Tae-ha (played by Bae In Hyuk), they enter into a contract marriage.
In the episode aired on the 9th, there was a scene where the protagonist, Lee Se Young, explained a hanbok design concept, and the hanbok design sketch attached to the wall became a problem.
On the 12th of December, a hanbok company posted a message on an online community stating, “The design was stolen for the popular drama ‘The Story Park’s Marriage Contract’.” The company expressed disappointment, saying, “If you had officially requested to use even a brief passing scene, we would have gladly agreed. It is very regrettable that there is a lack of copyright awareness. Should we be happy that it was used in a popular drama? You didn’t think it was okay to use the design sneakily, right? You used it by mistake because it was pretty, right?”
As the controversy escalated, the drama production team began to engage in discussions with the company. Later that day, the company expressed gratitude through its official Twitter account, saying, “Although there were some issues, we are grateful that the mistake was acknowledged and the source of the design was revealed, leading to a quick resolution. We hope that the story about hanbok in the drama will contribute positively to the spread of hanbok culture along with the Hallyu drama trend.”
The company further explained, “We received a formal apology from the drama’s representatives and they promised to credit the source. They explained that there was a communication error in the outsourcing process, and the design material that was provided as a reference was used as it was.”
An official from the MBC drama also stated to HeraldPOP, “We have conveyed our apologies to the related company and have reached a peaceful agreement.”