‘King the Land’ remained on the lead spot for a second week.
Image Credit: Netflix

Production companies of the JTBC drama series ‘King The Land’ have apologised for the misleading portrayal of an Arab character in episodes 7 and 8.

After a huge backlash on social media, on July 13, the South Korean Television network JTCB posted a public apology written in Arabic, on the channel’s Instagram page. On July 12, the network had posted the same apology note issued in Hangeul and English.

The show, co-produced by Npio Entertainment, BY4M Studio, and SLL, angered Middle Eastern viewers after the episodes aired over the weekend for the portrayal of an Arab prince. The drama also came under fire for hiring an Indian actor to play the part.

Vowing to fix the controversial parts, the production companies said they will be prudent when making content in the future and be aware of cultural values and sensitivities.

The Arabic-language post on JTCB’s Instagram read: “An apology from the production company of the Korean series ‘King the Land. We would like to announce that we had no intention to ridicule, degrade or value any country or distort a particular culture at all, therefore we deeply apologise for some scenes, which caused disturbance to viewers and confirm that this is due to a lack of consideration of other cultures.

“While repeating our apologies for these scenes, we state that this was caused by a significant lack of experience, lack of absorption, and consideration of other cultures. We promise to do more to cover this shortage and create content that viewers from different cultures can enjoy. As we will work quickly to fix the controversial scenes, the production team will take extra care and care to avoid any disruption in future viewing. Once again, we apologise to the esteemed viewers who like the content we produce.”

The previous apology note, posted on July 12, read: “We would like to express our deep and sincere apology for causing unnecessary inconvenience to our viewers without full consideration of other valued cultures, although we have no intention of caricaturing or distorting any particular country or culture in the process. It has been our sharp realisation that there has been a lack of understanding, experience, and consideration for other cultures. We will do our best going forward to create content that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of where they are from and what kind of culture they have.

“We will take a thorough look into the part of the video which was considered problematic, and do our best to make sure that the right measures are taken. We earnestly promise to our viewers that more care will be taken down the road so that there will be no inconvenience in viewing our content.”

The K-drama which stars South Korean singer and actor Lee Junho and singer and actress Im Yoon-ah (known as Yoona), has appeared high on viewership rating charts over the last three weeks, since release. The story follows the unlikely romance between Junho’s character Gu Won, a chaebol heir who can’t stand fake smiles, and the constantly-smiling Cheon Sa-rang (played by Yoona), who becomes known as the ‘queen of smiles’ while working her way up the corporate ladder at the King Hotel.