[EDITORIALS]MBC should honor agreementA rare occasion took place Monday when actors for MBC-TV’s weekly drama, “Age of Heroes,” temporarily refused to film the remaining episodes. Some 20 actors and actresses went into collective action, demanding that the broadcasting company withdraw its plans to call the producer to its personnel committee, and explain them the reason why the drama will end earlier than planned. The incident ended with representatives of both sides exchanging memorandums, but for viewer following the saga, there still remain many questions unanswered.
The foremost reason that caused the actors and actresses to shun their work and strike was MBC’s attitude. According to the performers, MBC had promised to go ahead with plans for 100 episodes if the show’s ratings exceeded 20 percent.
But despite ratings of 22 percent after rumors of an early wrap-up started leaking out, the network went against its word and stuck with its earlier decision to stop at 70 episodes in late February. MBC cannot escape criticism that it failed to honor promises made to both performers and the TV audience.
Furthermore, rumors spread that the network had received political pressure to end the drama earlier than it had originally planned. MBC tried to find excuses such as low ratings and its plan to air another political drama, “The Fifth Republic.” Its vague position of neither confirming nor denying the rumor only intensified the fight over the drama. The truth has yet to be revealed. The network is largely responsible for raising suspicions about outside pressure.
Criticism for failing to reflect the opinions of viewers is also due. There were opinions in the early stages of the program that it excessively glorified several of its characters, but it is hard to understand why MBC decided to ignore the opinions and continued to enhance the characters. Although the program is a drama not a documentary, it should have been more cautious in dealing with people who exist in the real world.
MBC must ask no one but itself why the performers decided to walk away from filming. It is the performers who are the weak party in the relationship between TV networks and actors. Now it is MBC’s obligation to provide an acceptable answer to settle the rage that the performers must feel. The network must give a thorough explanation on the issues behind “Age of Heroes.”