"Man Who Dies to Live," the Korean TV series which has been criticized for its disrespectful depiction of Muslim and Arab culture, has topped the popularity index among Koreans. The drama got a total score of 247.7 points in the Content Power Index (CPI), developed by CJ E&M and Nielsen Korea, to emerge as the No. 1 program from July 17-23, according to Yonhap News.
It stars Korean actor Choi Min-soo, who plays the role of Jang Dal-koo, a Korean who made it big in the fictional country called Bodoantia in the Middle East and uses the name Count Saeed Fahd Ali.
Muslims, Arabs and other international fans criticized the TV drama for showing women in hijab and bikinis, and Jang Dal-koo drinking wine, saying the scenes disrespected Muslim culture.
MBC was forced to issue an apology after the backlash, saying, "Please be advised that all characters, names, places and designation are entirely fictional."
The TV series, it said, has "no intention in distorting any particular religion, culture or people and we sincerely apologize for any harm that may have caused to the viewers in regards to the drama."
"Once again, there is no intention of fending the values, culture, religion or people of Arabic and Islamic countries. MBC expresses sincere regrets and formal apologies to the viewers who may have been fended watching the drama. Please be assured that MBC will take extreme caution in production from now onwards," the TV network said.
Placing second in the CPI is the TV series "Into The New World" with 244.1 points while the variety show "Infinite Challenge" was third with 234 points.
The reality TV show "Law of the Jungle" grabbed fourth place followed by the drama "School 2017," "Idol School," "The King Loves," "Stranger" and "Journey to the West 4."