MBC refutes ‘Seondeok’ plagiarism allegationsThe hit TV drama “Queen Seondeok,” which ended last month, made news last month when a writer filed a lawsuit accusing MBC, the drama’s producer, of plagiarism.
In its first public comments about the lawsuit, which was filed by writer Kim Ji-young, producer MBC called the allegations groundless.
“I don’t understand why Kim would make such claims,” said Cho Jung-hyun, the head of MBC’s drama department.
Kim, 34, who is the director of local content provider Great Works, claims that MBC stole elements of the script she wrote in 2005 for a musical she titled “Seondeok, Queen of Mugunghwa.”
She filed a plagiarism lawsuit against MBC on Dec. 31.
“The core plot of the TV drama is almost the same as mine,” said Kim.
But MBC refutes her claim. “We couldn’t find a script by Kim anywhere,” Cho said.
According to Kim, MBC copied several plot devices that she invented for her script. Kim says she invented a story line in which Queen Seondeok clashes with Misil, a power-hungry character, and a romance between Queen Seondeok and Yu-sin, a male protagonist. Kim also asserts that she created a scene in which young Queen Seondeok escapes to the desert. The MBC drama contains all of these plot twists, which are not based on history but which Kim says she invented.
“The rivalry between Queen Seondeok and Misil is not a fact but was my own creation. It wouldn’t be the same if there hadn’t been an act of plagiarism,” Kim said. “I once shared some of my scripts with the Korea Creative Content Agency to attract investment in the musical, and I believe that’s when the content was leaked.”
Kim says she will apply for an injunction for copyright infringement of the musical version of the drama, which is currently playing in theaters.
But MBC has stood firm, and says it will consider filing a lawsuit against Kim if she does not withdraw her lawsuit against them.
“The law will decide who is wrong and who is right, and she can’t avoid her responsibility [for making such statements],” Cho said.
Queen Seondeok recorded an audience share of 40 percent during its run last year, which is rare in the television drama industry.
By Kim Jeen-kyung [firstname.lastname@example.org]