The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KOCSC) has put Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung starrer Backstreet Rookie under review. The decision was taken after the KOCSC received thousands of complaints demanding cancellation of the show.
Backstreet Rookie was promoted as a family drama, but the family audience received a rude shock when the first episode showed scenes with sexual content such as moaning, naked man, and semi-naked women, among others. Since then, complaints have flooded the KOCSC and SBS stating that the show was inappropriate and sexual in nature.
Reports claim that the KOCSC has received 6,384 complaints as of July 11 against the airing of Backstreet Rookie. This prompted the organization to put the show under review. The number of complaints received by the show is the highest any drama has received in the past year.
Emotional and Ethical Harm to Teenagers: KOCSC
According to a Soompi report, a meeting was held earlier this week and it was decided that an explanation will be sought from the production team in terms of maintaining class and broadcasting language. The team will have to give a statement of opinion to the KOCSC.
The decision to seek a statement of opinion from the producers of Backstreet Rookie was unanimously agreed upon by the five members of KOCSC. The hearing will deal with explaining the contents of the first episode.
One of the committee members, Park Sang Soo, said that the series was inspired by a webtoon rated for audiences above 19 years of age. However, the producers of Backstreet Rookie adapted the webtoon and stated that any audience above 15 years can watch it. However, the committee found that the drama has caused harm to teenagers on ethical and emotional grounds.
Ratings Tell Another Story
While the KOCSC said that it has received complaints to cancel the show, fans of the drama claim that no problematic content was aired from the second episode. This week, Backstreet Rookie shared the good news that the drama recorded the highest ratings since its premiere for its eighth episode.It has 8.7 percent viewership nationwide and 9.8 percent viewership recorded in Seoul (according to AGB Nielsen).
As far as popularity goes, the drama is winning hearts. Therefore, the drama may be able to prove that the number of people watching the drama is higher than those complaining about it. Henceforth, the producers of the show need to make sure that the drama does not air any scenes that make the audience uncomfortable.
Backstreet Rookie began airing on June 19 in the slot occupied by Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun starrer The King: Eternal Monarch previously. Even the latter was criticized for its lack of historical research, but later won the hearts and emerged as one of the most loved series of the year.
tvN's It's Okay to Not Be Okay also faced similar problems with at least 50 complaints stating that the lead character Ko Mun Young (Seo Ye Ji) harasses Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) in the drama.