If you keep up with K-dramas by SBS, you may have been hearing about, or even been watching, their recently-released series Backstreet Rookie.
Starring Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung, the drama tells a story of a woman who applies for a job at a convenience store owned by a man she had met a few years prior.
But innocent as the storyline seems, the series has so far received over 6,000 civil complaints. According to Media Today, a representative from the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KOCSC) said: “This is the program that has received the greatest number of civil complaints in the last year. Even without limiting the time period, it is definitely one of the greatest number of complaints received.”
The provocative scenes reportedly include one where a minor goes up to an adult, asks for cigarettes, then kisses him, and one where high school students are dancing and the camera pans from the bottom to the top. There’s also one where an illustrator in the story makes moaning noises while drawing explicit material.
Given the number of complaints filed against the show, KOCSC held a meeting in Seoul on July 8, where they listened in on Backstreet Rookie‘s production team’s explanation for the scenes.
According to Soompi, there was a discussion on whether or not the K-drama violated broadcasting regulations and if it was “maintaining class” and “broadcasting language.” The drama’s rating was also reviewed by the deliberation committee.
Committee member Park Sang Soo stated: “The reason why there are so many civil complaints is that the webtoon Backstreet Rookie was rated 19+, but they tried to change it to 15+. However, they were careless when it came to things like editing. Language that was heavily sexually suggestive and lewd were used indiscriminately. Although it is a drama, the ethical and emotional harm to teenagers is great.”
Following the backlash and complaints, the scenes deemed problematic have since been removed from the episodes available on video-on-demand services.
Featured image: Screengrab / Backstreet Rookie