Will’ Joseon Exorcist’ Be Able to Win Viewers’ Hearts Again?

Credit: SBS
Credit: SBS

Joseon Exorcist is knee-deep in trouble.

At first, the drama made headlines for its mega-scale production with a budget of 32 billion KRW (about $28,240,483). However, with just one episode, it was struck hard by the controversy over its historical inaccuracy. Recently, an issue related to China’s Northeast Project has swept the country. And its usages of Chinese props and food and disparaging remarks against Taejong and Sejong have offended the public severely.

In response, the production team shared, “It was a place prepared for the western exorcist who came through the Ming dynasty to rest. Since it’s close to Ming Dynasty, we thought, ‘maybe there was frequent contact with the Chinese.’ We just wanted to explain that the characters have traveled afar. And we had no ulterior motive.”

However, viewers expressed discomfort by showing their intention to boycott companies that support the production. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, more advertising companies pulled out their money one after another. Not only did the companies that are supporting the production step down, but also they pulled out the advertisements. In the end, all advertisers and production supports withdrew their funds. To make things worse, even the local governments canceled their aid.

The production team apologized once again through another statement. “Regarding Chinese art and props, we apologize for causing misunderstanding and inconvenience at such a sensitive time,” they wrote. “We will delete all the problematic scenes when the characters greet the exorcist. And we will make revisions accordingly to VOD and reruns.” They, however, stressed that Joseon Exorcist being a Chinese capital-funded drama is “not true at all.” They added, “We made the series with 100% domestic capital.”

“Our drama uses real people and real history. So we should have taken extra care in checking and reviewing the content. But we feel heavily responsible and deeply apologize that we failed to do so,” they apologized. “All the VODs and reruns of the first two episodes will be canceled until we properly revise it. Moreover, we will cancel next week’s episodes and reorganize the entire content.”

Several historical dramas were embroiled in controversies over the lack of historical research. However, most of them were about one or two historical errors that didn’t affect the entire work. However, Joseon Exorcist had numerous errors, from clothing to inaccurate information about real historical people. And the fact that all these errors have strong Sinicism only shocked the viewers further.

Currently, requests for cancellation of the drama are all over the viewers’ bulletin board. Numerous complaints have also been filed with the Korea Communications Standards Commission. Furthermore, a petition demanding immediate cancellation of Joseon Exorcist was posted on the national petition webpage.

Amid the ongoing controversy, attention is drawn to whether viewers will change their minds about Joseon Exorcist.


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