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Man Who Dies to Live: Episodes 1-2

Yaaas! This lighthearted wackiness is exactly what I needed in my life. Man Who Dies to Live kicked off with a strong start, full of creative characters and relatable struggles. I can’t describe how much I’m already in love with Choi Min-soo’s over-the-top portrayal of an ordinary man who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. Although his quest to find his daughter may be driven largely by selfishness now, I can already see the seeds set in place for the heartfelt connections to come.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

The story starts off with a tale of a brave man who found himself in a strange land. He began chanting a spell, and was awarded a divine gift. From his hand pointing east, black water (oil) sprang up, and from his hand pointing west, the tears of god (water) arose from the lands.

The narrator trails off to say this man’s name, and the illustration turns into SAYID FAAD ALI (Choi Min-soo) who’s hard at work carving an ice sculpture in a beautifully lit ice cave. As penguins walk around randomly, he introduces his location as the special glacier storage he had imported from the Alps. 

As he leaves the ice container, he throws off his winter coat to a servant who fumbles to catch it while telling his master that lunch is served. He struts through his palatial estate that consist of a luxurious manse and expansive pool, as servants bow to him left and right. He inspects a fresh catch from the sea to eat for his dinner before heading to lunch, where he’s seated at a long table with a gourmet preparation of dishes in front of him, below a ginormous portrait of himself.

In a monologue, he begins introducing himself, and breaks the fourth wall to ask the audience whether they are surprised to learn he’s actually a Korean man. The on-screen subtitles begin spelling out his Korean name, but he quickly puts a stop to that, announcing, “Where you’re from doesn’t matter. Being Korean is nothing to be proud of anyway.” (But for the purposes of recapping, we will call him by his Korean name, JANG DAL-GU.)

Suddenly, his secretary, ABDALLAH (Cho Tae-gwan), brings him an urgent message that the royal guards are here for him. Looking mildly amused and annoyed at the same time, Dal-gu asks him if it’s serious this time.

It appears to be so, and thus, Dal-gu jumps into his sleek electric blue sports car to evade the authorities. A call rings on his bluetooth telling him that his private jet is ready for departure to Paris, and he’s gleeful that he’s almost made his escape from the royal guards, who are here on orders of the king to make him marry the princess.

Three police vans chase him along the dusty road, but when confronted with a blinding sandstorm (in what looks like a deliberate Mad Max: Fury Road tribute), they come to a halt. However, Dal-gu just lets out an excited “Yee-haw!” and races into the heart of the sandstorm. He speeds his way through the sand and emerges on the other side victorious, but unfortunately, there’s a group of guards on the other side waiting for him as well.

Not missing a beat, he just shrugs his shoulders and gets out of the car, making karate moves once he’s out. Guards escort him to the palace, where he’s rebuked by the king for putting off marriage for so long. The king commands Dal-gu to marry the princess, but Dal-gu just says that though he’s sorry to the princess, he must insist on a life of celibacy.

He pulls on the king’s emotions by recalling memories of their shared history together, where he saved the king from potential assassination in an act of bravery by singlehandedly incapacitating the king’s captors. (For that, he was awarded his nobility title as count.) Dal-gu continues by informing his sovereign that he’s sorry, but he cannot marry the princess because he’s not worthy of her.

Dal-gu reveals the existence of a daughter he had thirty-five years ago, and cites his neglect of her as a cause for why he would be a terrible husband for the princess. He even shows them mail from Korea as proof, but the others in the king’s council are reluctant to believe him, shouting that this time, they won’t be fooled by Dal-gu again.

But the king finally acquiesces and gives him an ultimatum: Before the month is up, Dal-gu must find his daughter as proof that he’s not lying or marry the princess. Otherwise, the government will seize all of his assets and properties.

On their way out of the palace, Dal-gu fumes to Abdallah, saying that the king just wants to take all of his hard-earned wealth. He’s also in denial about being a father—apparently, the news that he even had a daughter reached him belatedly because the mail that was forwarded to him was thirty-five years old, having been tied up in storage during the renovation process of the central post office.

However, the silver lining is that this purported daughter has given him one month’s reprieve from the king’s demands for him to marry the princess. He orders Abdallah to find his daughter—wherever she is in the world—and soon, we see them on the plane on their way to Seoul.

From Abdallah, Dal-gu gets the report that his daughter is currently thirty-five years old, and he’s agog at the age, especially after having flirted with a younger flight attendant. He finally learns that his daughter’s name is Lee Ji-young, and when he finds out she’s married, he already goes into father-mode and asks, “To what bastard?”

The screen switches to KANG HO-RIM (Shin Sung-rok), who tries to sell life insurance to his detective friend. His friend asks why he’s selling insurance when he’s a bank teller, and Ho-rim replies that it’s a side job, and that he’d even sell his dignity if he could.

In a park afterward, Ho-rim gets a call from someone nicknamed “Pig-nosed manager.” He doesn’t pick up, but the “Pig-nosed manager” is actually in the park and has seen Ho-rim purposefully avoid his call. As a result, he’s severely rebuked when he comes back to the office.

His boss, the “Pig-nosed manager,” pulls him into a headlock, asking how Ho-rim can even dare to ask for vacation leave when he’s scored the lowest performance reviews amongst the branches. Turns out that they’re old high school frenemies, but now, Ho-rim works under him.

As soon as he leaves his boss’s office, Ho-rim pulls out a drawer full of resignation letters and complains behind his boss’s back, saying that he is a coward who only was promoted due to his wife’s family. But when the manager comes out, Ho-rim can’t say a word to his face, and instead of handing in one of his many resignation letters, he pretends to have lost a pen.

Other coworkers think that their manager is not a man at all, because he so easily bows to his in-laws. They think that they wouldn’t be able to live such a suffocating lifestyle, but Ho-rim has a different opinion: a wife’s family has to be rich. He complains about his own wife, who comes from a poor family and has made him take vacation leave, despite his protests.

At the airport the next day, we see our first glimpse of Ho-rim’s wife, LEE JI-YOUNG (Kang Ye-won), who’s excited for her first trip abroad. She says that she couldn’t travel during their honeymoon (due to her wedlock pregnancy), so she’s absolutely overflowing with excitement at this first family trip, while Ho-rim grudgingly trudges around.

Her affection for her husband is clear when she naughtily slaps Ho-rim and suggests that the next time they come on a family trip, she expects it will be a four-person family instead of just three.

They’re at the airport at the the same time as Dal-gu, who battles a throng of screaming fans at his arrival. He is about to scold Abdallah for letting the press know of his trip to Korea, but the crowd passes him without a glance and reaches for the sparkling pretty boys behind him.

Looking disgruntled, Dal-gu asks whether the boys achieved something as great as an olympic medal, but with a straight face, Abdallah informs him of the existence of idols while going through the motions of TWICE’s “Signal” dance, HA. Dal-gu lets out a tut of disapproval, and wonders what Jo Yong-pil (a famous old singer) is up to.

On the other side of the airport, Ji-young’s family trip has been canceled according to the travel guide, who says that the Cebu airport has been destroyed due to a typhoon. Ji-young is completely taken aback and starts trying to reason with the man while Ho-rim smugly smiles behind her back, satisfied that things have worked out according to his wishes.

She begins saying that she must go on this trip, listing out how hard it was for her to arrange her time just to be able to go. But when the guide proves how unreasonable he is (calling her “ajumma” on top of everything), she starts an actual fight with him, which Dal-gu witnesses disdainfully.

Ho-rim slips away and watches from afar while shaking his head at the impromptu protest his wife has started against the travel agency. He receives a call from a second LEE JI-YOUNG (Lee So-yeon), which he receives with a grin on his face.

When she (to help us tell the two Ji-young’s apart, we’ll call her Manager Ji-young) asks where he is, Ho-rim lies that he’s at an airport about to board a flight for a business trip. When she says she’s also at the airport for a business trip, he suddenly panics, especially after seeing his wife hailing him from behind.

Once they realize they’re actually at different airports, Manager Ji-young asks Ho-rim to go on a vacation with her. Playing hard-to-get, he pretends he might have something on his schedule that might conflict with the vacation, but she doesn’t take the bait. Instead, she says that it’s fine and that he probably should get back to his wife anyway. Then, she hangs up the phone coolly, while Ho-rim tries desperately to call her back and arrange for them to meet.

From the next bench over, Dal-gu has overheard Ho-rim’s entire phone conversation and realizes that Ho-rim’s currently having an extramarital affair. But instead of rebuking him for his immorality, he says that ti’s understandable for a man to have a woman on the side that provides him comfort. (I wonder how he’ll feel once he realizes that his daughter is the woman being cheated on. LOL.) As Dal-gu enters the taxi, Ho-rim is called from behind by his wife.

Later, Abdallah and Dal-gu have drinks at an upscale restaurant together. After a long time away from home, Dal-gu savors his Korean banana milk as if it were an incredibly fine glass of wine. He spots a little girl jumping around by herself, and wonders if his daughter Ji-young might have been similarly precocious when she was younger. Dal-gu gets permission from the little girl’s guardian to dance with the youngster, while she stands adorably on his feet.

Abdallah steps outside to arrange for servants to attend to Dal-gu, but in the blink of an eye, Dal-gu’s dance partner has changed from the little girl to her guardian, the girl’s aunt. They tango together in a riveting dance that ends as Dal-gu drops her in a dramatic head-tilt and tells her, “Look at me.”

EPISODE 2 RECAP

Ji-young, Ho-rim, and their daughter are caught by Ji-young’s mother-in-law as they try to sneak back home after their failed vacation. Turns out that Ji-young had lied to her in-laws that she was going to the country to do some farming.

Her sister-in-law looks through their luggage, finds a passport and swimming suit, and catches her in her lie. Her mother-in-law clucks reproachfully and says that she doesn’t mind that Ji-young went on an international trip without them—it’s the attitude and her lying that’s the problem.

In their home, Ho-rim sings a lullaby to his daughter KANG EUN-BI (Ko Bi-joo) until she falls asleep, but when he enters his bedroom, he finds Ji-young crying in the dark. She’s upset over not being able to go on the trip, and for being rebuked by his mother, even though his mother always goes on trips without them.

At first, he tries to appease her, but it looks like this is an age-old argument with them, and he mumbles under his breath that she should just deal with her own inferiority complexes (of growing up without a father and not being able to go on trips as a child) by herself. Ouch.

She yells at him and tells him that those are her childhood scars, not complexes. She stomps out and goes to the bathroom to cry, but her daughter sleepily arrives and interrupts the crying session because she has to pee. At least she cheers up her mother by telling her that she proudly told her teachers that her mother was a writer, and she asks whether her mom will be writing tonight. Ji-young glances at her stacks of books and remembers all the plans that she had made for when she finally made her big break as a writer.

The scene briefly switches back to Dal-gu dancing with the little girl again as Ji-young thinks of her lost childhood. Then, it’s back to Ji-young and Eun-bi huddled under the covers, talking about bedtime stories. Ji-young tells Eun-bi not to read the fairytales that have the princesses always being rescued by the princes, because those men are usually players. Ha.

Eun-bi asks if her father was like a prince to Ji-young in the past, and Ji-young scoffs at first. But she does say that a long time ago, Ho-rim was the world to her, and she tried hard to gain his attention. She tells her daughter that if she wants a boy, she should work hard for it.

The next day, Ji-young goes to her part-time job, working for her friend WANG MI-RAN (Bae Hye-sun), at an oriental medicine clinic, sorting herbs and making nutrient packets. Her friend is amazed at her superhuman efficiency, but when Ji-young asks for a raise, her friend guilt-trips her by saying that she’s helped so much with Ji-young’s health that Ji-young should be working for free.

Then, Mi-ran asks whether the announcement for the writing contest has been made, adding that she has hope that Ji-young could become a winner. Ji-young tells her she doesn’t know yet, and that she doesn’t want to find out until things are officially announced.

At his job, Ho-rim awaits Manager Ji-young’s call, counting out candies the way you would flower petals: “Yes, she will call. No, she won’t. Yes, she will.” Then he gets the juiciest gossip about their manger from his coworkers: Their manager’s mother-in-law came the day before (when Ho-rim was on his family trip) and grabbed his toupee off because she had discovered that he was cheating on his wife.

In a work massage chair, Ho-rim laughs at his past classmate’s dilemma (despite ironically being in a similar extramarital situation himself) when he finally gets a call from Manager Ji-young, and that makes him light up. Although his coworkers suspect he’s also having an affair, he shushes them into silence.

Abdallah rides his motorcycle to a grungy PI agency, headed by MANAGER HAN (Kim Byung-ok). Manager Han starts talking business about his discoveries regarding Dal-gu’s daughter, but his female employee keeps interrupting by hitting on the handsome Abdallah. When he can’t stand it anymore, Manager Han yells at his employee, who’s revealed to be his daughter.

Finally able to talk business, Manager Han shows Abdullah that he has two USBs: one with Dal-gu’s daughter, Ji-young, and one with evidence that Ji-young’s husband is cheating on her. Abdallah is confused because he thought that marriages in Korea were monogamous, and the manager begins explaining that that same monogamy is the reason for the prosperous culture of extramarital affairs in South Korea. He wants to sell both USBs of information, but Abdallah doesn’t budge and rides off into the distance with only one USB.

Ji-young’s mother-in-law barges into her workplace, bringing all of her friends with her. Her friend has a huge amber ring on her hand, given by her daughter-in-law, and despite Ji-young’s attempts to be a dutiful daughter-in-law, they backtalk her when she leave the room. Unfortunately for Ji-young, she’s able to hear every insult through the door.

Abdallah presents Dal-gu with a picture of his son-in-law, Ho-rim, whom Dal-gu deems to be normal. But when he flips to a picture of his daughter, it’s actually a picture of Manager Ji-young, not the Ji-young who’s actually married to Ho-rim. (Abdallah must have grabbed the wrong USB from Manager Han.)

Dal-gu’s surprised and astounded at first, but then he says that of course it’s expected that such a paragon of stylish womanhood is his daughter. Taken aback by her beauty, there’s a brief and very weird moment where he wonders aloud if she’s already married.

Back at the oriental medicine clinic, Ji-young bids her mother-in-law goodbye with a glum expression, while her husband is in a nearby flower shop getting ready for his date with Manager Ji-young. Both Ji-young and Manager Ji-young end up sitting on benches alongside each other, sneakily sizing each other up (though neither knows the other’s identity.)

Meanwhile, Dal-gu almost jumps from his taxi to greet his daughter (who he believes to be Manager Ji-young), but Abdallah barely persuades him not to, saying that it might shock his daughter, who’s probably resented Dal-gu for leaving her and her mother. After much persuasion, Dal-gu eventually agrees to instead approach the closest person to Ji-young: her husband, Ho-rim.

Ho-rim steps out of the flower shop and realizes that his wife is right next to his girlfriend, so he can’t approach either. Manager Ji-young leaves after five minutes of waiting, and Ho-rim surprises her with the flowers, running out from just around the corner. She’s upset, but is appeased when he mentions that there’s an expensive dinner reservation waiting for them.

Meanwhile, Dal-gu relaxes by the poolside, being massaged by his many attendants while Abdallah plays guitar and sings to him in the background. In contrast, his daughter is hard at work in a much humbler setting as she prepares a special dinner for her family.

Manager Ji-young and Ho-rim enjoy a high-class steak dinner and go shopping, but they’re captured on camera by an unknown photographer. But for every attempt she makes to choose an item for purchase, he steps in and prevents her from getting anything expensive, knowing that he would be unable to purchase it for her.

As the night wears on, Ji-young gives up after hours of waiting for her husband to come home for dinner.

The next day, Ho-rim yells at Ji-young for not waking him up on time for work, and she passive-aggressively tells him that he wouldn’t wake up despite her attempts. He clenches his hand in a fist in warning, but she casually points out that he forgot to put on his pants, HA.

As a result, he’s late to work and is rebuked by his manager, who makes it abundantly clear that Ho-rim is the worst employee they have.

At her part-time job, Ji-young tells her friend that she dreamt of her father last night. She adds that if she ever does meet him, she wants to find out what type of person he is, and then kill him for abandoning her and her mother.

Dal-gu is dressed by his attendants in a fine three-piece suit and cane before being chauffeured in a Rolls Royce to Ho-rim’s bank. The manager is almost at a complete ninety degree bend the entire time he’s taking Dal-gu to his office, having picked up that Dal-gu is insanely rich, lol.

The manager sends for Ho-rim on Dal-gu’s request. At first, Ho-rim thinks he’s being called in to be rebuked again, but he sees Dal-gu instead. Rising, Dal-gu takes Ho-rim’s hand in a firm handshake and draws him in while saying: “Kang Ho-rim, I am your father-in-law.”

 
COMMENTS

Coming into Man Who Dies to Live, I had no idea what to expect—would it be a fantasy drama or more like a family weekender? Having watched the first and second episodes, I can safely say that I don’t care what it is, because I love it. (However, the insensitive portrayal of Muslims was definitely the show’s bad.) Choi Min-soo’s character is unconventional to say the least, and it’s amazing to see him in action, watching him breathe life into such a bizarre and wonderfully unique character. Although he’s still largely a man-child, I can already see smidgens of potential for the well of fatherly love in him, like when he danced with the little girl because he was thinking of Ji-young.

However, he still thinks that recovering this bond with his daughter will be a piece of cake, and perhaps after years of living with no hardships and an endless font of material wealth, the concept of emotional hardship has become foreign to him. Perhaps the luxury has compensated for the loneliness he must feel. In nearly all of his scenes, his only close acquaintance seems to be his secretary, Abdallah, who technically works for him. It doesn’t seem like he has any other friends or family, so I can imagine that when he finds the warmth of becoming a part of Ji-young’s little family, he’ll feel the rush of love that he’s been sorely lacking. So I can’t wait to see his future interactions with Ji-young.

Speaking of whom, I can understand that she’s being portrayed as a typical housewife, one who works hard for her family and has made sacrifices both at home and in her career for them. Obviously, her dreams and commitment to become a writer have been pushed aside by the needs of Ho-rim and Eun-bi, but her husband doesn’t seem to understand her at all. I’m loving Shin Sung-rok’s portrayal of a hapless cheating husband as well. For a while after You From Another Star and Liar Game, I thought that I would always see him as a crazy psychopath, but it’s a testament to his acting talent that now I totally believe his character as a live-in-the-moment simple bank teller/insurance salesman.

Obviously, seeing him cheating on his wife is not the best first impression of him, but I’m hoping that soon he’ll learn the error of his ways and return to his wife with renewed love. Of course, it could go the makjang route, and he could end up being a complete asshole by continuing to side with his selfish mother and sister and insisting on divorcing Ji-young to pursue the other Ji-young. However, for now, I’m reserving judgement on him because he’s such a refreshing break from all of the morally upright heroes in dramaland we’ve had lately. Ho-rim’s schadenfreude when his boss was called in by his mother-in-law was so human—I know I’ve felt that way before in similar situations, so his character is absolutely relatable.

But my heart did tug when I saw Ji-young waiting for him to come home while he was happily munching away and having the time of his life with Manager Ji-young. She is turning out to be the exact definition of a typical second lead, and I can already see how she’ll be one of the greatest hurdles that Ji-young will have to overcome to protect her family. But for now at least, I’m enjoying the setup of her ordinary life in contrast to Dal-gu’s absurd, extravagant existence.

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Before this comment section blows up too much, I think it's worth announcing that we plan on dropping recaps of this show. We were going to drop it after Episodes 3-4 because our recapper is already hard at work on it, but based on the reactions, it seems the recap will not be missed.

Our decision is based on the fact that it seems subbed sources are pulling this show, which means that after Episodes 3-4, there won't be any/many places available to find the subtitles, in which case we felt it would be a better use of our recapping resources to cover shows that are more accessible to people.

Thanks all for understanding!

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Thank you!

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To add:

I appreciate that Beanies seem dissatisfied with our handling of this topic, so I want to weigh in more definitively. We dropped the ball on this one, in that the issue blew up while we were away from our desks and we had long assigned these recaps to writers before it aired. So there wasn't much time for us (read: me) to catch up with the controversy before publishing this recap. And that's not to throw any recapper under the bus, either; anyone's entitled to their reaction to a show, whether negative or positive, and we don't like putting words in other writers' mouths. But as a first (and only) recap, it may have been better to address the issue rather than seeming to ignore it entirely. It's not an excuse, but GF and I are in the middle of moving houses so we've been a little less on top of the news than we should have been. That's our fault. We can't do everything right all the time, but we'll try harder.

As for the issue itself: The show was negligent in doing its research or putting any thought into what they were saying, for sure. I think they went for the stupid gag and their ignorance showed in the way they didn't understand that what they were showing was offensive. What's worse, they didn't understand that you cross the line between trying to be funny and being mocking (which is how it comes off) when you appropriate another culture for a punchline. Korea has been, historically, unfortunately tone-deaf to issues of cultural appropriation or treating stereotypes with sensitivity. It's part of being such a homogenous culture for so long, which is, of course, no excuse, and they should do better and try harder. Especially since Hallyu is enjoying the fruits of international attention and is proud of having an international audience, they should also be more responsible to that audience.

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Thank you @javabeans.

"Korea has been, historically, unfortunately tone-deaf to issues of cultural appropriation or treating stereotypes with sensitivity. "

Agree with this. Previously they just simply asked for an apology, so hopefully this time they will learn apology alone without any rectification and improvement in the future is not enough. Seeing that their SNS is getting blows up, (and too bad the actors' IG like Shin Sung Rok and Kang Ye Won are blows up too), I hope they really really get the message this time, not only MBC and this drama production, but also other channels/productiond in the future, not only for Islam and Arabs, but also for the others.

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I didn't realise the actors' social media are seeing comments as well. I completely agree with Javabeans when she says that Hallyu needs to be responsible to its international audience. Many people do pay to watch the shows after all.

Here's to hoping the message starts getting across with the MWDTL controversy.

I wonder if K-ent media outlets are reporting this, and if yes, what they are saying.

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Both Shin Sung Rok and Kang Ye Won re-posted the post by MBC in their IG account and some fans attacking them by saying they accepted this drama knowing how the drama will be..

I know we are angry, I'm angry too but I hope everyone can still control ourselves and be rationale. Expressing our stands in this matter is the right thing to do, but doesn't mean we are allowed to attack anyone. The one who is holding the real power here is MBC.

I checked some comments at Naver, some Knet don't mind with it - because it is just a drama (and this explains why they can even make joke about someone's race etc too, because they believe it is just for drama & entertainment). But like Javabeans stated, because of Hallyu status they have, rightfully they should consider the international audiences as well. There are some other comments as well but it is more on the their misunderstanding about Islam, which is in my opinion here is not the right place to discuss about it.

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I love you so much, javabeans!!!

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Thank you, Javabeans ?

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Thanks for this update! I love this site so much that I really just wanted to be sure that its staff aren't afraid to talk about something so important. So yeah, thanks :)

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Thank you @javabeans But to be completely fair they weren't being kind to Koreans either. I think they are equally mocking their own people by the over the top portrayals as well. On calmly watching again, I felt I might have overreacted initially. In every country there's ignorant cultural appropriation. Where I live the same is true for different regions of the same country. I am not saying that makes it all okay so it wouldn't hurt to do proper research in the future though. Its a silly show and not the best writing out there, I think it should end there.

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Thanks so much for addressing this so straightforwardly; I really appreciate your candor!!

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dramabeans staffs are the best ? thanks a lot ?

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You're saying you missed the controvery but we know you watched the drama because of the "What we’re watching" post. So my question is, do you need a public outrage to figure out how offensive something is? Was watching it not enough? You didn't say anything about it in your blurb.

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Come on, be kind :)

Some of these issues can be very subtle for someone not exposed to race politics, etc. (just like how something like white privilege is very difficult for white people to understand initially). Not everyone can be aware of everything immediately, but the important thing is that we're willing to learn, to say sorry when we're wrong, and do better going forward. Don't hold it against people if they genuinely don't know, we all start somewhere!

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I agree with this. I watched the first ten minutes of the show prior to knowing about the controversy and I didn't even notice that the bikini clad women were wearing hijab. But, something came up, so i stopped watching and once I got to know about the controversy and saw the pics, that's when i realized they were hijab. Then, I lost all interest In watching it But, regarding dramabeans, All they are trying to do is cover every drama that is airing out there so that no matter what type of drama we enjoy, we have a place to discuss about it. so, let's respect their efforts for us and re. :)

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*and realise that they have only the best interests for their readers.

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Question is: When does this same standard apply to Christians? In Marriage Not Dating the actors were wearing sacrilegious shirts and jewelry that mocked both Christ and Christians and not a word was said. Just sayin'

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Well, generally speaking Christians tends to live in more forgiving countries. The thing is that we shouldn't overreact, since we all have standards. For example, I am Venezuelan and we are being pushed to communism, so I felt baffled (in a bad "cultural appropitional" way) when I saw Bara-sshi in Let's Eat (or every time I see a Che Guevara T-shirt in K-Dramas <-- ¿did you know all the people he killed, tortured or how he mistreated his own subordinates both in Bolivia and in Congo?). A part of me imagined going to visit Lee Soo Kyung with some good Reina Pepiada arepas... and a Kim Jong Un T-shirt. I giggled at the tought and let it slide. For them is a trendy T-shirt or a good name for a dog, for me he was a killer and an opressor.

The thing is there must be a limit in this zero-adding game. We all have a past and symbols we love or hate being used out of context, so if we start to be so nitpicky and easily offended then even My Little Pony will become an horrendous show.

Peace ;) .

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Not sure if there was a misunderstanding, but I was making the same point as you. Christians may speak out, but they don't raise a huge ruckus about the frequent hostile messaging directed at them. Why is this drama somehow different?

After I initially posted I watched all 4 episodes and now I really don't agree with the knee jerk reaction netizens are having.

In this drama you have a Korean living in a muslim country because he saved the leader's life. He's made a half hearted effort to adopt some of their local customs. But basically he doesn't share in their cultural practices or religious beliefs. There's absolutely no insult to arabs or Islam in that.

The little there is about religion pokes fun at false practitioners of both Islam and Christianity:
The supposedly Muslim father makes bikini clad babes at his house wear headscarves. Hardly faithful to Islam. (But it seems that ep 4 makes it clear that he's a Korean hedonist, not a true Muslim.)

On the other hand, the adulterous son-in-law made the sign of the cross and thanked God when his mistress wasn’t in the same airport as he and his wife. As though God helped him conceal the affair. Hardly faithful to Christianity. (But it seems that ep 4 makes it clear that he's a pantheist, not a true Christian.)

So - my point still is - I don't get why this drama gets censored. I think the Netizens are wrong on this one and shouldn't be appeased. Or - you're right - we'll live in a world where eventually even My Little Pony could be labeled 'a show that shouldn't be watched'.

(P.S. In Marriage Not Dating it wasn't that things were used out of context. The apparel wording and imagery overtly called Christians ignorant hate filled bigots and Christ a fraud. It was a targeted attack. Yet, the people it was aimed at didn't get peevish about it.)

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SJW here.

I don't know that Christians are any less likely to protest what they see as mis -representations than any other group. They are as likely to make a ruckus as any other group. They will make their points with gun and violence when they think it is warranted as many people who work with Planned Parenthood knows from experience.

There is a great difference in Korea's mis-representation of Christians and Christian culture than its issues with Islam and Muslims.

Korea is a majority Christian country and Islam practitioners don't have enough numbers to be recognized on a pie graph. I know Korean Muslims exists, because I know one, but still. . .

Additionally Christians have a strong political presence in Korea. Therefore I think comparing the issue with Marriage Not Dating to this current situation is like comparing oranges and buffalo.

http://www.korea.net/AboutKorea/Korean-Life/Religion

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I honestly think if people address their disappointment openly, others will learn and do something about it.
Regadless of what religion, culture, race, or basically anything, if someone starts to speak up their disagreement or disappointment there will be discussion and possibly solutions from it. But if no one speaks, others who has zero knowlegde wouldn't be able to learn when others being hurt.

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I wish that this were true. Case in point: I raised concerns on this site about the outright hostile messaging in Marriage Not Dating and nobody could be bothered to care.

At the heart of it, that’s what’s animating my concern about the uproar surrounding this show. It just proves the inequities. The SJW crowd is viciously aggressive in their tactics when they latch onto an issue, but horribly inconsistent in how they apply any human rights principles.

In fact it seems that the leaders of the various SJW movements aren’t driven by a consistent or universally applied set of principles at all. Instead, they’re simply on the lookout for offended groups that they can appoint themselves the saviors of. And they condition their SJW followers to exhibit a blind sort of pack behavior that’s driven by hyper-charged emotions and group-think. The lack of individual critical thinking (blind acceptance of disinformation) is what makes SJWs dangerous to non-favored groups. They’ll tolerate unfair aggression towards unfavored groups in the name of universal tolerance and equality, and crown themselves paragons of moral virtue for doing so.

Also, the so-called solutions promoted by the leaders of these causes are most often based on new ideas that are really retreads of old intellectually and morally bankrupt concepts - rife with double standards - that haven’t ever or won’t ever work. So the end result is the creation of a divided and divisive society of balkanized cohorts-of-the-perpetually-offended. This is what I think makes these SJW movements dangerous to global civil society.

When we accept the censorship of this show - without using some common sense and asking ourselves whether the complaints are reasonable - that’s where I fear we’re headed.

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Oof. I just gave you all problems and no suggested solutions.

Healthy individuals and societies are usually able to laugh at themselves. And are ok with it, if others laugh at them in good humor. If there's a group or person that can't do this, there's simply no choice but to leave them out of the fun. Analogy: We all need to play well with the other kids. That kid who - despite being treated equally - can’t handle the fun and is always bursting into tears and running to the playground monitor? That kid will end up being excluded and shouldn’t feel entitled to complain about feeling left out.

What's also needed are consistent standards and fairness. By consistent standards, I mean that you don't do to any one group what you wouldn't do to all groups. You can't treat one group harsher than another. Analogy: Mean spirited kids need to stop being mean or they won’t be invited to join in the fun anymore. And the group shouldn't laugh at only one kid.

By fairness I mean, if you use a group's inconsistencies as the subject of satire or humor, also include some legitimately good points about that group. Analogy: Go ahead and laugh at someone if they’re doing something you find funny, but remember to say kind things too or you’ll hurt their feelings.

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Healthy societies do indeed laugh at themselves, and the best one refrain from laughing at others, especially when they don't understand the others they are laughing at.

No one is denying Korean creators the right to laugh at themselves or their culture.

People are having issues with the situation because the creative forces are making fun of people/practices outside the experience and culture and in doing so cause much offense.

"Balkanism" (an unfortunate insult to a group of people) happens due to lack of respect and sensitivity. Anyone can make a mistake and hurt or insult unintentionally. When that happens the way to peaceful coexistence is to apologize and stop hurting or insulting people.

It is less helpful to say, "Oh you are too sensitive." "Oh, I was just joking." "Oh, people insult me all the time." Let's keep the insults going because I'm quite enjoying them.

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most of what you say is true, and i appreciate it. however, i don't believe this is a case of pure negligence. alcohol and headscarves are such basic issues that they do not even require any deep digging. rather, mocking it is clearly.

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Thank you @javabeans.

In short, I really appreciate your decision. It save a lot of things. Already had my heart broken seeing such scenes in my favourite drama industry. But most importantly, your decision at least have answer my inner voice of ".. please, not Dramabeans too."

Thank you

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Au Contraire my dear JavaBeans!!!. As much as I understand the ruckus over this, I also admit this is a touchy subject that MUST be addressed both in this forum and especially in Korean Media.

Cultural misunderstandings should be addressed and not put under the rug. Koreans tends to be very vocal when they feel discriminated, but they must eventually understand this is a two way lane (they have the right to be offended as much as others have the right to be offended). So if you are Korean, then it is akin of a Japanese Sushi shop owned by a Japanese man having Korean waitresses wearing kimonos (sorry for the hard image).

This is an international forum, so these discussions should be more frequent (hope Korean Media people read this kind of forums and take note). I *hope* Korean Dramas are more than a ship war between female lead and second lead, because if this is only a mindless watch and you avoid seeing layers of truth and reality in these stories, then it is a soul-less pastime.

Please address your concerns to Korean Media, not to our DB staff who gives our catnip dose ;) .

Peace.

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Firstly I'd like to say thank you for the decision. Since DB is already deliver their stand point of this issue then I'm gonna stop to talk about it too. Let's live in harmony in DB.

I love you~

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i respect your decision. But my heart sank at the news that sinners pulled off. This is the first show U actually enjoyed.

Are u saying I will never get to see dubbed version of this drama ????

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typo subbers
subbed version

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"Cultural appropriation"...what kind of new nonsense is this? More like "Censorship in service of the perpetually offended, rocks!"

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This is exactly my point. We should be respectful to Islamic culture, especially since there is a worldwide scrutinity over them, but shooting DB and TinieBeanie over it is akin of shooting the messenger and not the sender. We shoud put our voices to better use, like writing to the Korean channel that made this show.

Ask A Korean has two excellent articles on Cultural Appropiation:

http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2016/06/appropriate-appropriation.html

and this year (2017 <-- we don't know if people will be interested in this show in the future)

http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2017/07/on-cultural-appropriation-one-more-time.html

On the other hand, Koreans are basically newcomers to the world (you don't earn the nickname "Hermit Country" for nothing: for several millenia they only saw the mighty China and the Japanese pirates) so we should cut them some slack. The constructs and behaviours that we are used to are not only mobile, but the product of many long years of international and intercultural friction. They haven't had the benefit of that experience until very recently.

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I probably didn’t express myself clearly. It was satire. However it was meant as commentary on the group-think, not an attack on any individual.

I simply think the whole “cultural appropriation” meme is illogical and usually employed in a hypocritical way. The people who beat the drum to advocate a global, borderless, post-racial, fully integrated society are usually the same ones who illogically castigate people for ‘cultural appropriation’ when they venture to adopt practices outside their own cultural heritage.

Here’s a local example from where I live, which is often at the forefront of todays most nonsensical social movements:

Two women went on vacation to Baja Mexico and fell in love with the Baja style tacos. So they devoted the rest of their vacation to learning how to make them, and drew up a business plan to open a taco stand when they returned home. Their goal was to celebrate the delicious Baja style tacos and share them with their city.

When they returned they opened their taco stand and it was wildly successful. People loved the delicious Baja food. But then some self-appointed SJWs took offense. They started a mass media attack the two women, accusing them of “cultural appropriation”. Apparently it’s offensive if caucasian women decide to make tacos. End result, the women lost their business and their savings to the SJW attack. The city lost an awesome taco stand. The SJW’s gained a self-perceived ‘moral’ victory. And ethnic Mexicans gained nothing.

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The drama really got my attention for it's crazy and unique set up as well as Choi Min Soo being the lead but the terrible portrayal of Muslims and Arab culture put a huge stop to my excitement.
I still can't believe they had women wear hijab with revealing clothes and even swimsuits.
I don't easily feel offended by cultural appropriation and portrayal as I try to give people the benefit of the doubt but this time it's pretty outrageous. If you are going to use a culture for the sake of entertainment the least you can do is portray it correctly and respect it.
I don't doubt this drama is a wacky and fun but for me it will be a pass.

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Exactly my sentiments. I was also excited for this show in the beginning but when I read the reviews and saw the pictures of the first episodes, I think I will pass. They could have approached this in a funny but respectful way but they didn't.

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The most outrageous thing for me though, is that no one in the drama production seems to have deemed their approach inappropriate. They may not be expert on the culture (which is understandable) but surely someone made research and learned about it before writing it into the story?
I would also have expected more awareness considering Middle Eastern countries are also huge dramas viewers/buyers.

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I avoided commenting so far and I am still debating with myself if I should post my comment or forever keep my peace. Because I am aware that I am hitting a wasp nest. But probably I am not wise enough.
I have never seen such a thing before as all the noise this drama generated with throwing a bunch of stereotypes.
It so reminded me of Russell Peters' shows. But I have never learnt about people boycotting Russell's shows or feeling so utterly offended. And he targets mainly Asian people.
And I can't stop asking myself ”why” since I read the first article about this whole situation. If the show had the father ”landed” in an African country and it thew all the stereotypes out there about African countries and culture, I am 100% sure that the situation would have been different.
All the stereotypes in the Korean dramas about the white people never ruffled so many feathers.
This drama just unintentionally made me think. About how obtuse the 21st century human being became and how we just love to pretend we treat everybody equally. Some seem to be more equal than others.
I am sorry I will miss seeing Choi Min-soo in one role that probably is the closest to his own self (or what transpired from his being in I Can Hear Your Voice).
Oh, and I really feel sorry for tineybeanie. She had no chance from the very beginning. If she extended the comment regarding the portrayal of Arabs, she would have been accused of stirring the waters. If she just mentioned that it was wrong, she didn't do enough. That's quite a ”Thank you!” for all the time and hard work she puts in these recaps.

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I quite agree. Attacking Tineybeanie and DB is not the way to go, they didn't write the show. The way kdramas portray foreigners in general is very out-there. The writers seem to have these stereotypes in their head and refuse to conduct any research on what they are writing about or even if they do, it's reluctant. I will never be able to get over all the offensive things in Strong Woman Do Bong-soon. The parody of the Hindu monk (who had a Muslim name no less), the throwaway stereotype of African people when the secretary said the team leader guy wore cutlery as jewelry like an African chief, the portrayal of the one gay character, the very upfront misogyny of Ji Soo's character, and the use as domestic abuse for comic purposes, there's nothing funny about domestic abuse, especially not when the man is the victim because men are less likely to speak up because people will put them down and ridicule them. What even makes me more upset is the fact that they are pulling the show from international audiences but not reworking the show as if there are no Muslims to offend in Korea.

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'Some people are more equal than others.' If you are referring to the huge elephant in the room, ie: Muslims, then I would respectfully like to point out that:
a) everyone has a right to be offended
b) terrorism (which is completely unrelated to your comment but I think it's a significant point) is not a Muslim phenomenon. The UK and the USA, the world's leading superpowers, are heniously guilty of committing terrorist acts, and of arming those who support terrorist groups to the teeth (I'm thinking Saudi Arabia).
c) Right now, it is a fact that Muslims are being brutally oppressed around the world. I would point to Burma, where the Rohingya community is a victim of ethnic cleansing; to Israel, which occupies Palestine and is guilty of land theft on an unimaginable scale; to Iraq, still reeling from the after effects of the illegal UK/US invasion in 2003; to Trump and his 'Muslim ban', just to name a few.
I may have gotten a little off track (!) but my underlying point is that racism, promotion of patriarchy, discrimination in all its forms and cultural insensitivity should all be challenged, wherever they are and whoever they come from.
And in that lies the true beauty of free speech, not in mindless slapstick comedy, whoever it targets.
Peace.

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Please remember that Korea was basically closed to foreigners until the 1990's. That is, less than thirty years ago. Their multicultural experience is limited, to say the least.

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PS: I am not endorsing show's blatant ignorance, just trying to understand where it comes from.

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It comes from ignorance. And from no fear as they have no Muslim population to speak of.

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Actually, there are Muslims in Korea. There's not a lot of them, a few hundred thousand, but there are.

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But still, that is not a legit excuse to justify such ignorance. Lazy writing to be exact. Just could not care to do proper research.

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Yeah, but like the internet exists.

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Why don't you do some research yourself before saying such a thing as "Korea was basically closed to foreigners until the 1990's"?

I agree that there are still a lot of Koreans out there who need to learn and respect other cultures, but I come across so many comments at this site that tend to objectify Koreans and are full of falsity and stereotypes like this one.

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South Korea was literally built back up from rubble by the Americans after the Second World War in 1945. It was the beginning of the divide between North and South Korea. They've had more than 50 years to 'learn' the 'multi cultural' ways and of all east asian countries, they have one of the most developed economies. Even then, it doesn't take the whole country to be 'developed' for some drama writers and production staff to be aware of sensitive topics.

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In my personal opinion, "the show's bad" doesn't even begin to touch the racism and abhorrently offensive cultural and religious insensitivity depicted. This is a good recap, like always, but I'd personally hoped you guys were going to let this one go by.

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He's racist to...?

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I'm sorry, but there is no way I'm watching a show that has the issues this one does, and I'm honestly shocked that the controversy didn't warrant more than a single line in this recap. As a Christian who has watched my own customs and religion portrayed in a horrendous way in all types of media, I know that it's incredibly painful to see the things you love desecrated without more than a throwaway line of excuse or apology. There is just no reason for the Arab culture or Muslim faith (or any culture or faith, for that matter) to be portrayed or appropriated in such an unthinking, ignorant and offensive way. The show should be canceled, and I hope that everyone with a conscience will boycott it.

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Yup. I was looking forward to the dramabeans recap post on this show because I was hoping for an insightful analysis of what has been called 'the show's bad'. The international audience brings a different perspective to shows than the domestic audience - and dramabeans is easily the best platform for insightful analysis/discussion of Korean dramas. Which is why I'm disappointed as well.

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I honestly log in and immediately open the page, although I don't have plan to watch the show even from the beginning, was to learn what db's anslyse to this show. But I am pretty flustered to learn nothing but 'the show's bad'. Before I read the comment section I thought it might be db's way to prevent sensitive discussion but seeing that many of you are indeed disappointed, I think I fully understand because I feel the same too.
To be honest, I normally say if you don't like the show just don't want it. But it's totally different between 'the show's bad' and 'being badly insensitive'.

I hope tineybeanie and other writers will join us in this comment section so that we can learn their honest perspective.

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*watch

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Well said! :) I second your call.

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My issue comes from the fact that it is acceptable and very popular to offend Christians in American television yet there is NO uproar about that but offend Muslims and it is the end of the world as we know it. I do not support offending any religion but am sick and tired of the hypocrisy that exists.

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Full offense, but this is not the time to make this ABOUT YOU. American Christians don't even face a quarter of the ridicule or oppression that American Muslims do. Sit down.

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I think this is a different take from the people who gets represented.

Muslim is very vocal because of so many ignorant portrayals and how they always in the news for bad things and hardly good deeds are being shown. If Christian feels that they were misrepresented, they need to talk about that too.

I think both are acceptable but it also always in the of the world when one news about attack happen and all muslim gets accused, to the things that terrorist due or some missed information like the subway explosion.

I think the reaction differs because Muslim now keep speaking up.

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... And Muslims should speak up. I still remember after Manchester Ariadna Grande's attack that the media agencies tried to interview some of the killer's neighbors (in a Muslim zone). The TERROR in their faces and their attitude avoiding the reporters are a typical reaction of a grieving community which still has to process all the damage a dumb fellow inflicted on them and their image. In Western Law there is no crime in being associated (as in you are family or friend) with a criminal.

We should always remeber that Criminal Justice should be imparted only to the ones commiting (or conspiring to do) a crime, not to an entire community. Doing otherwise is asking for another Broken Crystals Night and the Shoá all over again but on Muslims.

Peace ;) .

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thank you.

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Be ready for barrage of accusing comments. How dare you put its pic in the post. Why did you recap this and blah blah blah.
You won't see much comments about black people are portrayed in dramas[oh those are just mindless stereotypes] but here guns, knifes and pitchforks are ready to lynch anyone.
Its just a fictional country and fictional characters show some borrowed cultural regression from here an there.

I think writer maybe in her own way parodying all those atrocious views. That's why we burkini now.

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Actually when dramas like Heirs and other shows were broadcasted there were criticisms on their portrayals of stereotypes. I do get very annoyed with the ways black people are portrayed in dramas and I know from reading on other sites that viewers are definitely not happy with the portrayals either.
Yes it's a fictional country but it's clear from some viewers they borrowed and inserted many things from another culture. Maybe the production crew should have just make up a non-existing country with no clothes or practices correlating to any culture or group of people.
It seems that they just wanted to pick something flashy and put minimal effort in researching the place(s) they are taking ideas from.
People have every right to criticize this show as the next one.

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>>with no clothes or practices correlating to any culture or group of people.
Better show nude people or go extra mile and
consult aliens then. Patriots like to get offended over anything and ppl never acknowledge how much of regression and atrocious customs their religion and society spreads.

>>minimal effort in researching
This is in their blood. You can see that in 80% of kdramas.

Ban this and that already shows extremist behaviour.
The show deserves criticism and that should be done but on why they showed this thing that way or not. Its fiction and scriptwriter has every right to use his/her imagination.

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When I say no correlation, I meant it as it's not outfits that are clearly borrowed majority of one area in the world. They can mix or match or they make up there own styles, but they didn't do that. They even wrote in the synopsis that the male lead came from an Arab country. They should took some efforts since they noted where he had his business. Yes I do note that many kdramas do not make great efforts in researching. It's clear from comments in DB that people do note the lack of research on say a profession. It's not like people will stop noting the lack of research. A good scriptwriter would take the effort to research things and when that scriptwriter does do good amount of research, viewers do catch that (ex: Forest of Secrets). Also I never mention banning anything. The scriptwriter has every right to use his or her imagination as much as everyone has the right to criticize his/her use of imagination. They can question his/her reasonings with showing things certain ways or not.
As for religion and society customs, people have different ways of living.

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I dont think anyone here is demanding for the show to be banned (and hence embarking in extremist behavior per your accusation). It's the right of the show to be as good or bad as it wants. But it also the rights of people to criticize or even boycott this drama. Free speech is a two way street.

Also people here DID critize when they see horrible potrayals of black and people from other culture and religion. But this is not "my suffering is way worse than yours" race, the fact that this show perpetuates racist stereotypes of muslims still stand.

Also, dont get why you're kind of sarcastic about burkini. I hope you're not one of those people nodding along on the news about french policemen forcing a muslim woman out of her burkini in public. Forcing a woman to wear a hijab is wrong, but so does forcing a woman not to wear a hijab. They key word here is "forcing".

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as a matter of fact this is exactly what is happening. i watched the first eps fb all the shenanigans started. and as usual i thought that kdrama again stereotyped other cultures, religions ...
so? i was much more upset of the depiction of ppl of color in kdramas bc it emanate fear of ppl who have different color than you. which is much worse than just ridiculing some culture and religion. and even then i didnt think you should stop the show or ban it. this is the meaning of FREEDOM OF SPEECH. you can say stupid and ignorant things. i am smarter than they are, so i know better, but to make them stop broadcasting or make DB stop recaping, means you are taking their freedom of speech. you can just not watch, or watch with the feeling that you know better. but really here it looks like peer pressure and dictation from readers, which is really scary. i didnt think ppl here could be so scary.

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Parody, Satire or other means of humorous criticism come with reasoning. That drama had none, the fictional world did not need the down right mockery of a religion. It is highly offensive and people on here complained about the depiction of black people numerous times. You might think the Islam has regressive and "atrocious" views but some of of our western thinkings and developments have their roots in the islamic world. Women being allowed to divorce their husbands? First happened in the Arabic world. The muslims I know are all very modern, forward thinking and smart. They despite the fundamentalists (IS) as they are also responsible for the war in the Middle East.
So what this drama did was using religious elements and make fun of it without any deeper intention. And that is wrong!

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Very well written. Its sad that most productons dont bother spending an extra few minutes reserching into different cultures before they decide to film the scene. In saying that i was very upset with the "hindu priest" that was shown in strong woman do bong soo, bust since this show was already popular not many people raised their concerns. I wonder if the reaction would be the same if this show had more popular actors??

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You take the words out of my mouth. I wish more people like you with actual knowledge on the subject would speak about Muslims and Islam instead of people repeating what they heard on TV or whatever.
I'm not sure the drama wanted to make fun of Muslims or Arabics, I think they just took small random facts about Muslims and/or Arabics (to this day I'm still not sure about what they wanted to portray, arabics or islam) to put in their dramas and that's it. I mean I'm muslim so I was a bit surprised about how they portrayed everything but then I didn't feel angry or whatever. It's just that they really should have searched the matter a bit because it's just not consistent and very misleading.

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Idk if there is any ban for the drama,

the only article I see is by allkpop which usually misleading in the content.

For the subs, there are many shows without subs nowadays since kocowa happens and no one really rely on fansubs but rather viki, df, viu while those streaming site may not gets the right to license this drama, also this drama doesn't have idol [in means their own subber for the idol show]

-- I think writer maybe in her own way parodying all those atrocious views --

Idk about the atrocious view, please explain more

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Television will never portray any country's culture 100% correctly, never have never will. We shouldn't expect it to.
Even sageuk writers/directors these days don't even bother and this is Korea's own history and culture. That goes for any other country out there with their own.

Yes they made some lame and stupid attempt at comedy based on a fictional country but still called it an Arab country. Big Fat Epic Fail yes.

If DB and @tineybeanie wants to recap it then that's their choice. If you are offended then rant and go watch something else and let her be.
Recapping this show does not mean that she is racist.

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I agree that cultures are often portrayed inaccurately on TV and in films, but does that really mean we shouldn't expect more? Recognizing an unfortunate fact and approving of it/accepting it are two very different things. Nothing will ever change if people continue to just accept the inaccurate and ignorant portrayals of various cultures and ethnicities around the world. I believe it's absolutely the prerogative of every person to have their own opinions and biases, but those who produce the media that influences the world really do need to be held to a standard of accountability and accuracy when it comes to portrayals of cultures that are not their own.

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I never said to stop ranting or stop sharing your opinion.

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the context of your statement is contradicting that is why. I have been a sIlent reader here and I can see that your post is sometimes a little pretentious.

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Care to elaborate?
I don't understand what you mean by being pretentious.

I don't think of myself as being better or more knowledgeable than anyone else.
I do comment a lot when it comes to Korea's culture and history but I've always said that I barely scratched the surface.

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this is not a documentary. they have NO obligation to be accurate but consideration if they choose to. ppl who actually visit, tour middle eastern country will know the difference. only NEWS and Documentaries are under obligation to be accurate and respectful. not realizing that is the viewer problem not the show.
again as ignorant and stupid as it may be this is a freedom of speech.
what is going on in this forum?

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You act as if all they did was make some bad puns and didn't make a mockery out of real religion and real culture. And promote stereotypes that impact a large amount of people everyday. "Fictional" country or not, when you use such explicit imagery like the Quran or hijabs, you aren't in fictional territory anymore.

The excuse that "all tv portray cultures incorrectly" is lame. MBC didn't even make an attempt. The idea the we should just accept culture insensitivity is dumb. We in fact can and should expect more. Silence does nothing but imply approval.

Everyone that works for dramabeans are adults. They are content creators, and increasing influential ones at that. And as someone who consume that content, and therefore helps them profit from it, I have every right to express disappointment in them for ignoring the controversial nature of the drama in addition to praising it.

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Maybe you should finish my sentence after fictional country and you might understand what I was trying to say.
English maybe my 3rd language but I think it's pretty clear.

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I can see your point, and indeed I too agree that DB has their right to recap any show despite any controversial or sensitive content in it. The one that upset many of us is that this recap doesn't give more perpective of the issue and simply put it as 'the show's bad'.
Take it or not this a sensitive issue, and as DB's readers we've been waiting to learn what DB's opinion on this as we always go first to DB for any drama discussion. But when we read the recap, there is nothing much we can learn. This is what makes up disappointed.

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You are so on point on this. What's devastating is how light the issue was being addressed in the recap as if it is so petty. The core issue is obviously "disrespect". If some readers calling for total boycott on this show, it's truly understandable and there is no amount of freedom and liberty could justify such wrong. Asking others to watch and rant or go watch other show and not demanding for a solidarity action is truly incomprehensible.

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Ms. Callie, even if the show is insensitive (it TRULY is), DramaBeans recappers should be free to recap the shows they want to. To be honest, if not for them all this ruckus would have flied under my radar.

Sadly our world is a mix of both light and dark, but if at least we are open to talk about darkness in a sensible way, then we can start to at least put some light into the corners. Getting things right sometimes requires being wrong at first and someone has to start the discussion (hopefully in Korea). Our attempts to live in multicultural societies depend on our communication.

And I understand why TinieBeanie didn't elaborate very much on this show's blatant insensitivity (even if she mentioned it): the comment section has become a minefield.

Please get some perspective. We Beanies sometimes could disagree with each other, but ¿¿¿telling each other what to do and what not???...

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I never said they shouldn't be allowed to recap it. However, like Javabeans said, not addressing the controversy was a bad move and made it look like they were willfully ignoring it. We now know that was not the case, but the situation was left alone for long enough that it still spiraled out of control anyway. Criticism is necessary for creators to grow. And I now have faith that if a situation like this should ever rise again, it will be handled better. But someone had to say something for that to happen. Any "harsh" comments I or any other beanies have made here are all out of love.

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The irony is the 3 Korean main broadcaster barely show their own actresses (I mean their mains) in a bikini. Even if there is a need for beach /pool scene their actresses wear a very conservative bathing suits (usually a one-piece with a short or skirt)... I'm not by any means against bikini, just saying the fact that the producer of the show definitely had an agenda to make a BAD fun of Muslims/Arab culture, showing woman with hijab as little bitch-horn... although I'm not religious, but I feel ashamed as a woman to whatch this show...

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Good point that I didn't even think of. You almost never see Korean actresses in bikinis in dramas. Only because they are "exotic" foreign women is this acceptable to Koreans.

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Great point.

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Good point.

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As a person of color this drama reminds me of the stereotypes white media often portrays of woman of color as oversexual and provocative. This show left me the impression that Koreans really think of arabs/muslim. The lack of respect for other cultures and religions is slowly turning me way from k-entertainment for a country that is supposedly so conversative why was it okay to show those women in bikinis. There has been several incidents show casting how ignorant, insensitive and racist Koreans are. I hope thry reslize that this can affect their economic if people stop consuming kpop and dramas they may end up losing in the end.

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Obviously you've never watched Miss Korea pageant shows' swimming suit competitions or any number of news reportings talking about how this beach or that beach town is in full swing with thousands of bikini-clad girls frolicking in the backgrounds.

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Wow. So it's okay for such offensiveness to continue and be tolerable (continue airing and to be recapped) but it's not okay to rant and criticize and demand boycott on the show (take your rant elsewhere or stop watching). This is so not right.

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Did you even read my comments at all?

Did I said to take your rant elsewhere or did I said to rant but leave her be (to recap the show if she choose to).

Goodness people READ it through and stop twisting what I actually said.

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I dont understand why u got so much downvotes? @kiara

Btw, I think most of beanies forgot, that this is actually JB GF private blog (we didnt pay for our wonderful recaps & other fun debats here).

So, its their choice weather they want to recap, not recap, or recap without touching the issues, why? perhaps they have a lot of considerations . . Its hard to write something so publicly sensitive and be "politically right" for everyone, so they just stay away from the controversy. So beg recapper some pardons.

N, again, some beanies said Recapper "should" address the issue, bcs beanies expect to get smth thoughful from Recapper, sorry but they ain't own us any explanations,nor reactions, they just doing their job as what their thought let them be, they are free and we shouldnt stress/ put them on pedestal on what & not to write.

"Didn't write on the issue, doesn't mean recapper is ignorant. Silent on '1 recap' doesn't mean racist. "

So by that means, if I watch MWLTD, & comment on DB but not about the controversy, means I'm ignorant? Why Recapper is different than us? Nobody can tell nobody what to write what to think about bcs everyone "should respect" everybody business. Except he/she is president/public figure than public has respectful right to expect those to be a role model.

We can argue on the comment. So everybody get their free spaces to rant.

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One thing, Their job is Drama Recapper.

They are not freedom religion fighter / social community represent.

So its funny actually to expect them address this issue when is not their job.
(addressing the issue will be extra for us)
It's like reading a foodie magazine but expect the writer to tell about the dietary flow on one food. If u expect that, read a healthy food lifestyle magazine.

Thats all I'm saying.
We can argue in comment about anthing, so I dont see any problem to put Bean Team on hot wheel.
@javabeans @girlfriday

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The portrayal of Muslims cannot even be considered satire. A good example of a satirical portrayal of Muslims is the British show Citizen Khan which touches on things like hypocrisy and racism in the Muslim community in a funny but thought-provoking way. It's time for K-ent to stop using other people as a means for comedy, non-Koreans are not going to be offended if they used their own culture as a joke because we don't know anything about their culture or their history regardless of how many sagueks we've watched.
But, that's not the only reason I won't be watching this show even though that left a bad taste in my mouth. My issue is the over-the-top wackiness. This brand of humor is just not my style. I was extremely excited because I love Choi Min-soo and Shin Sung-rok but I cannot stand how the characters are written. There's nothing endearing about Shin Sung-rok's character and it's not just because he's a cheater. I also don't like how they made Kang Ye-won's character loud and obnoxious, though there are moments when I understand her pain of growing up without her dad. I was so excited for this show but I feel so disappointed with the turn it took. Also, is there no other way for secretaries to behave or be written other than blank-faced and dry? Some of my favourite secretaries in dramas include L's character in Sly and Single Again and Choi Won-young's character in both Heirs and Kill Me Heal Me.

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I just don't understand what they were doing when they planned and executed this show??? I mean were they high? There's a limit to how "ignorant" you can be about other religions/races/ethnicity(s). If you were gonna portray a region in which one specific religion is dominant the least you could do is research properly???

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well I suppose something like this could be click-bait for db right? afterall the response to this drama was clear from the open thread...it seems obvious this recap would get more clicks and thus generate more money for dramabeans

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I think that assumption is ridiculous. They're not AKP, I doubt they need to use click-bait: DB is the one of the best platforms to discuss Kdramas and it's popular. Plus JB GF and all the others are awesome, I doubt they'd do something like that. I've been using this website for the past 5 years and I've never seen them use click-baits.

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Are you new in DB? Javabeans doesn't run her site like that.
You're taking the issue in a strange direction, chingu.
DB and none of us knew before hand that this show would bring up a mess to this extent.

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I don't think that's a fair assessment. They have been planning to recap this show way before it aired. They couldn't have known that it would be this controversial, and I would check out JavaBeans comment (the first one). They have decided to not recap it any further.

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To be honest.... the "muslim" part was portrayed so obviously wrong, OTT, ridiculous and stupid... that it didn't register in my mind how offensive it was. Because I thought everyone would be laughing at how stupid and ridiculous it is like me!

So I laughed through the episode, at the ridiculous antics of all the characters except for the JiYeong married to that sad excuse for a man.

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As a person born and brought up in Qatar, I did feel slightly uncomfortable by the wrong portrayal of the lifestyle here in the Middle East. But like you, I was laughing throughout the episode, because I found it funny! And I plan to continue watching it.

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All religions, imo, benefit from a healthy dose of criticism and questioning, and satire is the perfect vehicle - when done right. Take Monty Python's Life of Brian. It's a genius mockery of Christianity, because it comes from a very knowing, insider perspective on Christianity that is equal parts scathing and affectionate. What makes MWDTL so egregious is that it's ill-informed, which means that not only does it spread ignorance - it's also just not funny. I am disappointed but not surprised by the show, but I am a little surprised that the DB team haven't dared to wade into the controversy with a little discussion. I understand it's risky territory but it's depressingly familiar, as a Muslim minority, to excitedly hope for thoughtful discussion of the issue in a place you see as a safe and like-minded space, only to see it dismissed in one sentence. Reminds me of trying to talk about these kinds of issues with my mostly white art school friends at parties. Lots of, "oh yeah, it's terrible" and quick changing of the subject.

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I do see your point, and tbh I don't envy the position the DB team is in, because these things are absolutely difficult to address. Having said that, I would personally find it very admirable if they took a stronger editorial position. It feels kind of weird to search the show's tag and find that almost everything written about it, apart from one or two sentences, is positive. Will there be no counterpoint to that? I admit it might be my mistake to expect one, but I was honestly surprised that there wasn't.

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"I tend to avoid such complicated subjects as well because you'll always find people taking what you said out of context, or interpreting your thoughts their way or just crudely changing what you said in their answers which is extremely frustrating."

Right now I'm freaking frustrated for the same reason.

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Hugs Kiara. And join the club. I get downvoted for saying that I'm upset I got called ignorant, ludicrous and condescending. So it's ok for people to do that to me, while I can't suggest fellow Beanie friends here to not be so angry and hurt, while sympathizing with their feelings. I have to be angry and upset like them for my feelings as a human to count.

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Hugs here, you are absolutely not. I get the love you are trying to spread here..

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/Hugs
It's pretty sad that this site has gotten way too big for it's own good.
We used to have discussions with an open mind and respect for each others' opinions while addressing sensitive issues on both sides.

How did it come to this?

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THIS!!

I think a lot of people are misunderstanding that this whole outcries over this drama as muslims being overly sensitive on this issues. But the thing is, like I have said in other thread here, the current f*ked up state of those region of the world are partly enabled by this kind of shows that help reducing this segment of world's citizenry into a caricature or even sub-human to be treated as whichever super power pleased.

I have a muslim friend who was asked whether she's supporting ISIS. Mind you, this was asked, in all its seriousness, during an academic conference by a fellow academic that shouldve known better given his education. Many people are ignorant of the fact that ISIS has killed more muslims than they have killed non-muslims. If anything, the muslims shd be very very angry at the west for unleashing ISIS on them by their Iraq invasion. This example is just a small taste of the kind of stereotypes that this type of show help perpetuate and sadly not the worst. The worst is this racist depictions was used to rally for wars in distant countries, because these people need to be "liberated" from their "barbaric" culture and religion (which is such an idiosyncracy because how can you liberate these people by bombing their country to smithereens?!). So what I want to say is that this kind of perpetual misrepresentation DOES have real life consequences. So people have every rights to complain about this show.

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Thank you very much for this post, you manage to explain a lot of things about this issue. If only I was registered, then I would give this a thumb up.

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Ms. Ceci, I totally agree with you.

TV shows and movies are powerful educational media, for the good and (in this case) the bad.

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I completely agree with your example of media satirizing religions. I think a good satire should not only aiming for cheap laugh and outrageous comedy because they can also be used as a vehicle to discuss a sensitive topic in an entertaining way.
I also would like to recommend a movie called Four Lions if you want to see a good satire version of extremist muslim. It's funny but also smart. Riz Ahmed is in it too!

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Sigh. Just like that. That's it? DB as an international platform to discuss drama content, it's disappointing that the issue has not been discussed more especially in the recap comment aside from a short side comment of it being "the show's bad". Drama recaps have been dissecting drama content for years be it on the technical (e.g. production quality) or the narrative part (e.g. social aspects or issues in the story ). Here is a glaring problem in content, but there's nothing more than a side comment. What's worse is that the show is even getting praises for its "bizarro, campy feel".

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They better cancel this show asap, before any "terrorism" rises.....

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And this sentence is not offensive too?

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I agree with many of the commentators that I'm a little underwhelmed at how Dramabeans has dealt with the situation of this show and it's recapping:
The elephant in the room is simply going to be addressed as "the show's bad" and be left at that???? When you know that it's a racial issue, a cultural issue, a religion/faith issue--- and with Dramabeans priding itself as a multicultural community that can openly share about things (uhh isn't that why Open Thread exists?)--- something like this is simply going to be addressed as "the show's bad" and nothing else??? Also, making the reason for no further recaps being because subs are unavailable, but not because you know something is VERY WRONG with the show???? *confused look* Being such an up-and-coming influence of information in what it is, Korean dramas and the such, I had thought that Dramabeans had wanted to use this opportunity and use it's platform as a sort of voice, and hopeful influence, to address such a huge issue within the K-Drama world and voice an opinion, but I guess not T.T

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JB made a reply about the issue in her reply to the first comment

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I see that now, after I've already posted my comment ?

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(I started writing this before javabeans' post, but still feel the points are important and so am posting it anyway.)

Dramabeans has always been a place where I could depend on finding intelligent critique, but I've noticed that recaps consistently shy away from discussing social issues that have importance in the wider world. Though we lovingly toss around the word 'dramaland' everywhere possible, I always see dramaland as something that fits into that wider world, not a self-subsisting world in itself. As such, dramas are a reflection - good or bad - of the current social climates, and its tides change along with the real world. Sometimes, dramaland responds to real life, and other times, it sets the agenda. That's the nature of the relationship between art and life.

I've been following the discussions in the What We're Watching post, as well as the comments that have been posted here already (8 at the time of writing - it'll probably be way more by the time I finish this comment). I want to clarify some of the points I've seen repeated, to help others understand exactly what is problematic about this show, and what it is Muslims/Arabs and allies are reacting to. Calling it an 'insensitive portrayal of Muslims' is really downplaying the frankly dangerous attitudes that allow such a portrayal to come into existence.

Racism and appropriation is rife in the K-pop world, but its appearance in drama is less frequent, though still noticeable. Often, you really can laugh it off - sure, clearly you didn't research it, but it's funny rather than offensive. It's not really a fine line, as some argue - it's pretty clear when it's offensive. 33.5K retweets of one viewer's complaint against this show is not insignificant. MBC even issued an apology (though empty), but the fact is, it mattered to people. It mattered to people that their culture and beliefs were maligned, mocked, and at some points, desecrated.

The degree of cultural appropriation in this show is unacceptable, and the entire premise of Choi Min-soo's character plays to orientalist, sexist, and racist stereotypes. Add to that a strong dose of fetishization/exoticization, cut with a lashing of the white savior trope (the irony, right?) and that ever-problematic use of women as props to serve a narrative centered on this savior figure. Its sins are manifold. It's a classic white(r) male fantasy: being offered wine and women, the women are veiled yet available, sexual yet virginal. He's being offered them (buy one, get two free!), ordered to take these sexy veiled women! But he's untempted, though he's so desirable to the king who's begging for him. What racist/orientalist stereotype does this NOT play on?

Talking of the veil: another huge problem. Hijab is a code of dress that is deeply meaningful to practicing Muslims, and ultimately sacred. This show, I can guarantee you, would not put a nun's headdress on a voluptuous woman in a...

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Very, very well said.

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Excellent outline. At this moment Muslim community is under hard scrutinity in several parts of the world, so this is another straw in their backs. We should strive to be more sensitive with them, and not let the issue slide.

But please be more lenient with TinieBeanie and the Dramabeans bloggers: they are the messengers, not the ones who wrote the message.

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I don't blame the recapper, I think she wasn't really aware just how sensitive and fraught this kind of misrepresentation is. My comment was intended to help people understand why it's a problem - unfortunately, it got cut off and I couldn't tell because it was sent it into moderation since it had multiple links, and I was afk.

a little belatedly, but thanks tiney for the recap, I'm sorry you got caught in the storm. Hopefully we see you on another, less controversial show soon!

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Honestly I just read an article about people protesting about this issue. I didnt watch this and as I got curious, I scrolled down and saw those women wearing the supposed-to-be-hijab with sexy revealing clothes. THAT was outrageous, and I believe there are still more ridiculous things like that that I hadnt seen, based on the comments. So, all of the complaints and protests and understandable, and it's gonna be also a lot better for DB to stop recapping, coz recapping also means promoting this show, who has insulted and paid no respect toward other culture/religion. I believe that DB understands and has sympathy over sensitive issues like this.

I'm very disappointed in MBC and the production team, and all other K dramas like this.

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Half my comment got cut off:

(contd)
Talking of the veil: another huge problem. Hijab is a code of dress that is deeply meaningful to practicing Muslims, and ultimately sacred. This show, I can guarantee you, would not put a nun's headdress on a voluptuous woman in a bikini who is all boobs and butt. Why? Because they understand this is offensive, and that they represent opposite values. Moreover, when you add to that how fraught the issue of hijab has been this century, with a Muslim woman's right to wear it systematically decimated over the last decade and a half, it becomes a very emotional subject for us. We fight for our right to cover as we wish, while facing daily abuse and threats to our safety. Though we wear it out of our private and personal convictions, because it's such a visible mark of our religion, we become easy targets for hate crime. In sum, wearing hijab is meaningful. It's not trivial. It's religious, private, public, personal, political, and so many other things, all at the same time. But it is not available to feed your fetishes.

I want to repeat once again: this show is built on racist foundations. It makes a mockery of a different culture while simultaneously appropriating many of its elements, and pasting them together in a way that shows an evident lack of research, as well as a simple attitude of not giving a damn. It - like blackface - is cheap entertainment at the expense of an already maligned and marginalized ethno-religious group.
Korea is a homogenous country that's coming to the race conversation very late, and has a racism problem of its own, particularly when it comes to black people and Muslims. These portrayals are really not harmless, but feed into the attitudes that create even more widespread systems of oppression and an increase in violence against the affected groups, who are often minorites who become increasingly disenfranchized. There's an argument, 'Islam isn't a race, it's a religion, so it's not racism,' but it's been deconstructed by race theorists in multiple places: make no mistake, this kind of representation IS racist.

I understand that Dramabeans is not a political space, but I hope it will not ignore or excuse blatant displays of racism, but call it like it is. It's evident that DB readership is from all over the world holding a wide variety of beliefs, and it's good to have a space to discuss these issues. It would be nice if Dramabeans wasn't afraid to do it, too. It's never too late to be 'woke'.

I also get that for people not immediately involved in this ever-evolving discussion of race, violence, appropriation, and the various tools of cultural oppression/aggression, the connections that many of us watching immediately draw might not be clear, and for that purpose, I've compiled a short reading list which I hope will help readers to understand why these representations are problematic. I hope you'll take the time to read them.

1. <a...

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I also posted a short reading list of links but it's still in moderation. Please approve them, mods!

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And finally, part 3:

[...]I've compiled a short reading list which I hope will help readers to understand why these representations are problematic. I hope you'll take the time to read them.

1. But why can't I wear a hispter headdress? - Very similar reasons apply as to why you can't use hijab like that either.

2. Islam isn’t a race. But it still makes sense to think of Islamophobia as racism: a discussion of orientalism, what it is, and how it is the intellectual predecessor to Islamophobia, which takes us to -

3. No, Islam is not a race, yes, you are still racist

And thus (detailed and thorough discussions from Seoulbeats):

4. Fetishizing black culture: Taeyang on being black

5. Things K-pop fans excuse but shouldn't: racism

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Great list. I'd also recommend the documentary Reel Bad Arabs which provides a good overview of the way Arabs have been portrayed in Hollywood from the early days until today. The stereotypes in this drama are remarkably similar to those in older Hollywood movies.

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Thanks for taking the time to post this and share links. Your insight has made this discussion richer

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I loved all your posts along with peichi's one, thanks for mentioning these links. I think Koreans in general don't have issues with racism. You see so many reality shows would make fun of their own people either fat or poor English skill or just anything. I was watching an episode of 'roommate',and there was one chubby woman there, (which shouldn't be any issue) but 3 time, men while talking to her, mentioned something about pig, and then 'looked' at her, which I found was quite outrageous. There was even background laughter sounds to make the scene more funny, but I didn't see anything funny this. It was insulting for the person shown on screen, and they made it seem like it's okay to do so, which it is not. I think this comes from not finding any unpleasant joke unpleasant, since they have been practicing it for a long time. Often in shows I also see there would be one apparently ugly woman(let's eat 1), and they would first focus on her figure to make it look like she's attractive but then zoom on her face just to show how apparently unattractive she is to the man who was eyeing her? Gross again. Cultural appropriation is not just about culture, it just speaks at length about how insensitive we are becoming day by day, disregarding time or race.

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* I think Koreans in general have issues with racism

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All your posts were really insightful and I loved reading all your articles especially the ones about Islam and the last one on kpop.

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Just some perspective for some of you...How did you feel when kpop group KARD was insulted on the Brazilian tv show recently? Did you feel that the show should apologize for it's racial insensitivity? Do you agree that the actions of the host were downright ignorant?

Well, now you know how some of us feel about the ignorant ways Black people, people of color, people of different of different sexual orientation, people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds are often portrayed on some of these dramas. To say that it's just " a lame joke" or "it's ok bc the country is new to other cultures" is plain ignorant and only works to perpetuate said ignorance. It also demonstrates no interesting in learning and growing away from this behavior.

We can and should demand better from each other. It's 2017 and there is access to information about every single culture, group, orientation and more on the internet. A quick search is all it takes.
We all have the ability to influence behavior around us. Let's be the change we want to see in others.

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Color me not surprised this show turned out to be offensive. Korea's never been particularly sensitive to people's cultures, race, sexuality, etc.

I dropped this after the first half episode. Not only was it beyond offensive, but on top of that, it just wasn't all that interesting to me. I didn't care for CMS character nor for his portrayal of him. The only reason I wanted to watch this in the first place was for Shin Sung Rok, but finding out his character was another cheating jerk who didn't care about his wife or kid? I couldn't sit through it again.

Like a lot of other commenters, I was disappointed that the show was mentioned by at least three of dramabeans staff, but how offensive it was only warranted one throw away line from only one person. I wasn't surprised it wasn't mentioned though, because I can only remember a few recappers speaking up about problematic things in recent dramas (SWDBS comes to mind). As much as I love dramabeans, I'm disappointed that there isn't a lot of critical analysis by the recappers of some of the social aspects in kdramas. Commenters bring things up sometimes, but the recappers don't bring up a lot of things. I feel like problematic things are glossed over a lot of the time. Maybe they don't get as offended as much as I do or maybe a recap isn't the place for that, but I wish it was.

But anywho, thanks Javabeans for responding to people's disappointment. It takes a lot to admit that the ball was dropped and promise to do better in the future.

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I understand not wanting to bring that sort of analysis to the recaps, but maybe they could do separate articles for these sorts of issues when they come up. I'd personally like to see that because I agree that social criticism is really absent from DB aside from when commentators bring it up and there really isn't anywhere else where I see these issues in k dramas discussed.

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I like your ideas on having a separate articles. To me a recap is more about sticking to what happens in the drama. So I guess I like to read something that is as unbiased as possible. I don't even read recaps that often, I usually read them only when after watching an episode I'm not so sure I understood correctly (and then I only read the part I'm not sure about) and I sometimes read a bit for sageuks since dramabeans gives information when there's historical characters and so on. So usually I only read the recapper's comment and the comment section. Anyway my point is I like your idea^^

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I've always thought that DB is a place for good discussions on different aspects of a drama, be it positive or negative and trivial or controversial. I've come to realize now that the more controversial issues in dramas aren't really discussed. Discussions on problematic and controversial issues mostly stem from beanies' comments.

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@javabeans I respect that your reasoning for pulling the recaps is the availibility of the show to audiences.
@tineybeanie In all honesty I dont understand the backlash as much probably because I didnt personally see it but from your recap I cant see the need.
I have often asked persons "in the world we live in today did someone's faith become synonymous with only a particular culture?"
Maybe its because Im from a caribbean island that is very diverse and the different cultures from earlier settlers has created something very unique that I can agree with some of thw comments.
Maybe its also because I grew up in a time where Alanis Morisette getting mehindi or wearing a bindi wasnt generating unnecessary buzz and called "cultural appropriation" It seems unfortunately that while we try to progress and be mindful of another's faith or culture we have regressed to the point where everything is deemed offensive. This generation of people with papery thin skin is very tragic.
Where were you when White Chicks was released? Tropic thunder and others spanning a variety of what some may consider insensitive topics? As i said before I didnt watch this drama and cannot understand the outrage felt by viewers but we are such hypocrits.
Absolute hypocrits.
Watching My Father is Strange and the story line of the pregnant Kim Yoo Joo being made to feel inferior because she is pregnant had me so incensed because they are tyring to couch that and come across as caring when in truth and in fact the "pregnant and helpless" thing is being pushed. Im not being fair to the drama because as far as ive watched up to (episide 34 ) it hasnt been resolved yet. However, that whole storyline is archaic and something working women face.

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>> Where were you when White Chicks was released?
---- i said before I didnt watch this drama and cannot understand the outrage felt by viewers but we are such hypocrits.
Absolute hypocrits.<<

I want to say that white chick is 2004 movie so maybe you can look at IMDB 5.5 score and Idk if there is any place to debate or complaint.

Just because one culture doesn't speak up doesn't mean the future of other culture have to be silent too since "other before you doesn't", it's like we strive to be suffer together and forever.

The consumer of the said drama better spoke up and if they didn't, how can people outside of the drama understand. That's why people on the culture spoke, so other would see why they didn't take it as "a joke"

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Even though I love the cast and how the plot sounds, I can't wish this show to do well. I am very disappointed with their cultural misappropriation. Sigh. I hope the cast could reunite in the future and do another drama without this show's writer.

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It really amazes me that these writers can somehow portray an Arab country and literally do no research at all. Like whenever I want to write something that takes place in a foreign country or culture (heck even if it was just another state or city in my own country) even if it's only for a brief part of the story I always do my research. That's just common sense, it's not just about not wanting to offend people, but you know, ACTUALLY portraying what you want to portray. The writers want to show an Arab country, that's cool, but it's laughable to call the country here an Arab country. It's nothing like any Arab country that exists today or ever did exist (it reminds me most of a really bad Elvis movie probably no one remembers and I wish I could forget called Harum Scarum).

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Some of yall really don't need to cape for the recapper/DB so hard. They'll live through this one time criticism. Muslims & Arabians, on the other hand, deal with these misconceptions and racist portrayals of themselves and their beliefs every day. I judge ppl very hard when their priority is to defend this site vs. addressing the problems with this show. I say this as someone who respect javabeans & DB very much. I've followed this site for years, it was from them that I learned a lot about how k-dramas have a lot of problems when it comes to misogynist portrayal of women & especially about problems of consent (e.g. all the scenes in Secret Garden), so it's not like they're not capable of pointing out social issues.

Tldr; when a group of people whose already-misrepresented culture & religion is further turned into a joke, maybe focus on that instead of spending so much energy caping for ppl/publications who essentially won't be affected in the long term.

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My biggest wish is for everyone around the world to just take and step back and breathe and not get too angry over things.

We want everyone to be considerate and informed and understanding but I feel it goes both ways. We mustn't take offense so easily and consider that most people aren't out to intentionally offend others. Because only by looking at both sides are we being truly considerate to other cultures and religions- by considering the view that others didn't mean to offend in the first place, that omission doesn't mean they condone the act, silence doesn't always mean consent. (I'm also speaking about DB and tineybeanie's recap)

By all means, state your point, explain why you were offended, educate the world on why this type of behaviour is wrong. But let's not have the anger, the resentment, the accusations, the boycotting, the hurtful words.

We shouldn't ever stop striving for harmony and consideration amongst all races, cultures and religions, but we need to remember that it everyone is different and therefore we all have different points of view. Just because something wasn't offensive to someone, doesn't make that person insensitive and ignorant or evil.

I can understand why DB wouldn't want to constantly bring up such a sensitive topic but isn't it ironic that by avoiding the issue to reduce conflict they have somehow managed to cause conflict because they are accused of ignoring and therefore condoning the behavior?

But I'm glad we are still able to talk about it. Because while I'm aware of how important it is not the be offensive and to always be considerate to everyone, my hope is that the people who are offended would also consider the point of view that we need to also take a step back and not react with anger and resentment and consider that the intent was not to offend.

World peace! Make love not war! ❤️

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And to clarify I haven't watched the episode and I doubt I will. But I just generally feel sad about all the hurt and anger here and wanted to say something.

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Thank you @laplume. ❤️
I did worry that I'd get downvoted in this post where emotions seem to be running high, but being downvoted still does sting, so I deeply appreciate your comment and support for my thoughts.

I fully agree with you about the intentions behind an action/word being the more important thing. And I tend to give people I don't know the benefit of the doubt that they never intended to be nasty, and it all was a misunderstanding. And I think that has helped me from reacting badly to things online and prevented me from saying hurtful words that I would have later regretted. I just wish more people would consider doing this. The internet would be a much less scary place.

thank you again for your reply. Made my day. Really. Because I'm happy to have found someone else who thinks like me and reaffirms I'm not (that) crazy. ?

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@laplume *big hug*

Yeah, I'm sadden too as I also feel like maybe I'll be taking a step away from this site (and certainly this thread) for a while. But I guess I only have myself to blame since I could have chosen not to say anything at all? And I would certainly have been happier without being embroiled in all this.

And I agree with you, a lot of times people don't realise how upsetting their words can be, when they throw around negative adjectives or say things like "how can you feel that way??" In real life we'd never talk to each other like that. The sad and scary part of the Internet.

But yay for the internet too, since i know there are also people like you out there. I'm going to drown my sadness in ice cream. Wish I could share with you or invite you over. Where is that Goblin door when you need it?? ?

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It's OK to be sad and angry but what I did not like that people start pointing and hurting each other because this show (maybe not here in dramabeans as all beanes are loevely :) but in other sites). For me, if the drama can not make people colse, it is not great at all. The main reason makse me like dramaland is let me feel that the world is OK, give me a hope and makes me " fight for my way" in real life.

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