Controversies spoil 'The King: Eternal Monarch'
In one scene, military forces from the Korean Empire and Japan get into a maritime battle, and many viewers pointed out that the vessel depicted as Japanese looked very similar to a well-known Korean ship from the era in the episode aired two weeks ago. Last week, the show's producer posted an apology for creating controversy on the show's official website.
“One thing I can confirm is that there was not any intention at all to make Korean warships to look like Japanese ones or put the Japanese flag on the Korean ships,” said the producer Baek Sang-hun.
“Because we aren’t experts, we didn’t recognize detailed characteristics of each country’s warships that may look very similar to one another to the naked eyes.”
He also added the team made a mistake of not checking all the details. In the scene where the Korean navy attacks the Japanese, some say that it would be difficult to get all the details of the design of a Japanese warship correctly. But, the size and the shape of the vessels seem too similar to what’s commonly seen as Korean, and the audience started to wonder if they just added a Japanese flag over an image of ships the team could easily get.
“To prevent any kind of possible errors coming up, we should have asked for help from experts, but we neglected to do so,” he continued. “I’m sorry that the audience has felt uncomfortable, and from now on, I promise to check all the details, as a Korean who knows his country’s history well.”
It wasn’t the first time that the show's audience pointed out awkward images on screen. Many say that the story is too unreal even if the show is a fantasy. The first episode had a 10.1 percent viewership rating according to Nielsen Korea, but the show's ratings have since dropped to around 7 percent.
Some speculate that the reason for the errors here and there is the absence of a main director. The work of filming and editing has been tasked to different teams, yet the collaboration has not been smooth without anyone at the top giving direction.
The drama had its first reading of a script in September and went into filming right away. It’s been eight months since it started filming, yet still there is no script for the final episode. Many speculate that the team will continue filming until the week the final episode airs.
BY YOO SEONG-UN, KIM JIN-SEOK [email@example.com]