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A drama stirs controversy over school violence

Posted November. 06, 2013 07:39,   


“Is it the way to create a main male character in a melodrama? Is it like he regrets his past after meeting the main female character?” (A posting from 82cook, a popular Internet community)

“The Heirs,” an SBS drama series, stirs controversy over beautifying a gang group at a school. It is a romance story between Park Shin-hye playing Chae Eun-sang from a poor background, and Lee Min-ho acting as Kim Tan, a son of a rich man, at Jegook High School where the children of the country’s top one percent attend.

The problem is that Kim Woo-bin playing Choi Yeong-do who competes with Tan over Eun-sang is a gang member at the school and quite attractive. Tan used to be a gang, too. In an episode aired on Oct. 24, Yeong-do lynched a student who was admitted to the school thanks to a quota for the socially marginalized and said, “Things will be like this because we will be your employer.”

Internet users also criticized this, saying, “It has gone overboard to describe a student who was admitted through a program for the socially-marginalized as a subject of ostracism and violence,” and “It highlighted the assailant’s attractiveness more than the victim’s pain.” Other people said, “In the drama, violence and discrimination at the school is only a metaphor to the real adult world. Beautifying violence is over the top.”