K-drama writer whose husband committed suicide kills off 11 major characters
In the field of K-drama production, some of the hot writers have a lot of power, but what happens if the viewers don’t want to watch that drama anymore because of its writer? Recently, Korean netizens protested Im Sung Han, a writer of the Korean soap opera Aurora Princess, and they've been gaining ground with a signature-collecting campaign.
Netizens are making online petitions on Daum Agora for an early finish of the drama instead of the writer’s requested 50 episode extension. Audiences have entreated broadcasters, writers, and stars to extend popular dramas in the past, but this is the first time in K-drama history that netizens have wanted to penalize the writer. Over 15,000 people have signed the online petition, and the number is increasing quickly.
Im Sung Han is one of the top writers in Korea, and is famous for having high viewing ratings despite her odd manner of developing stories, like See and See Again, Miss Mermaid, Dear Heaven and New Tales of Gisaeng. People refer to her dramas as the "Im Sung Han world of Makjang" (a narrative style that creates outrageous story lines with the goal of keeping viewers hooked on ridiculous material, such as birth secrets, revenge, rape, fatal illnesses, pregnancy and abortion). The controversy surrounding Aurora Princess began when the writer hid the truth for a month about the suicide of her husband, drama director Son Moon Kwon. After the drama began to air, audiences couldn’t understand the writer’s peculiar psychological world. This resulted in the resentment of the people towards the strange storyline, which included shamanism and superstition.
Characters have disappeared by reason of sudden death after their out-of-body experience (left), shamanism, and superstition (right).
There have been eleven veteran actors and actresses cut from the cast so far, the characters having disappeared by reason of sudden death after their out of body experience, by being sent to study abroad, or for no reason at all. Im Sung Han’s abuse of her writing power has become a hot subject in the world of broadcasting. Many actors got fired without any explanation from the writer, while a minor character, who just so happens to be played by the writer’s niece, has been getting a larger role in the drama. Recently, audiences couldn’t repress their astonishment when one of the main characters said that cancer cells were also living creatures and gave up trying to heal his cancer.
Aurora Princess, which was originally planned to have 120 episodes, was extended by 30 more. Now MBC and the writer are on the course of adjustment for a 50 episode extension. It is expected that Im Sung Han will get about $5 billion if the drama is extended. Contrary to the opinion of netizens, the drama has record high viewing rates, and this issue seems to arouse people's curiosity about the drama further. Whether they choose to capitalize on the commercial success of the drama or retain the quality of drama depends on MBC and viewers, who seem to watch the drama either way.