Singer-actress IU, whose real name is Lee Ji Eun, takes the female lead in SBS drama, Scarlet Heart: Goryeo. Facebook/IU

IU is not acting up to the mark according to many viewers of recently incepted drama, Scarlet Heart: Goryeo. The singer-turned-actress has been reportedly facing quite a lot of criticism with many netizens tagging her acting as awkward and unnatural.

However, the broadcasting channel of the period drama has come to the rescue of the 23-year-old multi-talented performer. On August 31, SBS drama head Kim Young Sub issued a statement in defense of the pretty actress. Young Sub stated that IU is has grown as an actor and she is doing well for the show: "We don't think it's something to be criticized that much. In fact, she's shown growth from her previous projects. There's prejudice against her because she's an idol star, and I know she has a lot of anti-fans. I don't think it's right to judge her acting based on that kind of prejudice."

He continued, "IU's acting was good, and it'll show in future broadcasts, so please look after her."

Meanwhile, the lead of the drama, actor Lee Joon Gi has also expressed his inhibitions over selecting IU as female lead earlier. At the show's press conference on 24 August, Joon Gi stated: "To be honest, I was really worried about IU's acting at first. It's true that she's shown her skills in previous projects, but there was a lot to process in the beginning. She's close to playing the lead, so I thought maybe it'd be too much pressure for her and I worried."

However, he further added: "From the start of filming, I began to have a lot more trust in IU. IU's able to make the role her own. Working on the 2nd-3rd episodes, it made me think that I was able to lean on her as an actress, and it was another chance for me to focus on my character. I'm thankful she did so well. You should really look forward to it."