On June 19, 2020 KST, SBS premiered a new K-Drama Backstreet Rookie featuring actor Ji Chang Wook and actress Kim Yoo Jung.
While international viewers fell in love with the lead couple’s chemistry despite the 12-year age difference between the stars…
… Korean viewers found the series to be problematic. Many insisted that the series sexualizes minors and female part-timers — and that the concept is “dangerous”.
- “I hate it. The directors need to get with it and learn that times have changed.”
- “This show needs to be called off. It was absolutely disgusting.”
- “I saw the screenshots and thought I might be biased. So I watched three minutes of the re-runs. I turned the channel as soon as I saw some nasty camera angles.”
- “You know, there are adult channels for sh*t like this. Why would you bring a clearly 19+ webtoon-based K-Drama to SBS? Who agreed to this?”
- “Just cut it short. If the series continues, it’s only going to affect the cast’s careers negatively. They’ll be tainted by this flop.”
- “I think the series really deserves to be pulled.”
The series’s official website has since been seeing a flood of viewer demands to cut the program short — as well as the Korea Communications Standards Commission, which has filed over 6,000 official complaints regarding the series’s “sexual nature” being inappropriate for weekend evening television.
In response, a Korea Communications Standards Commission representative claimed that “The content will be reviewed”, as complaints continue to pile.
Viewers continue to file official complaints with us over the program. The assigned team will look over the concerns and review the content accordingly.
— Korea Communications Standards Commission Representative
While the next episode is set to air June 26, 2020, neither SBS nor the series production team is yet to respond to the growing criticism.