SBS Drama 'Joseon Exorcist' Cancelled After Airing 2 Episodes Over 'China Influence'

Production companies YG Studioplex, Creative Works and Lotte Culture Works confirmed cancellation of the drama 'Joseon Exorcist'.

SBS Drama Joseon Exorcist starring Jang Dong Yoon has been permanently cancelled. The production house took the decision after airing just two episodes following criticism from viewers for using excess Chinese items. The production companies have issued a joint statement confirming the cancellation of the drama.

Joseon Exorcist premiered on SBS TV on March 22, 2021. Being one of the most awaited dramas, it opened to a rating of 8.9 percent, but only to be criticized by the end of the episode. Audience took to social media to comment that the drama had distorted and insulted Korean history by showing excess of Chinese props and food in the drama.

Joseon Exorcist
A poster of the SBS drama Joseon Exorcist. Instagram

Joseon Exorcist Overseas Distribution Cancelled

The production companies and SBS had apologized for causing discomfort to the audience and promised to set everything right. But the second episode that aired on March 23 had more scenes with Chinese influence, infuriating the audience. As criticism against the drama grew the production companies announced that they will take a week-long break to reset everything.

But within two days, after holding discussions the three production companies and the channel have decided to cancel the show permanently. They have also said that all overseas distribution contracts involving Joseon Exorcist are being terminated.

Here is the joint statement by production companies YG Studioplex, Creative Works, and Lotte Culture Works: "All productions have come to a halt. We acknowledge the gravity of this situation, and we will do our best to minimize the damages inflicted on all staff and affiliates associated with the drama series. All overseas distribution contracts involving Joseon Exorcist are currently being terminated, and you should expect all streaming platforms, both domestic and overseas, to take down the title from their site by today. We once again bow our heads in apology to viewers for causing trouble."

SBS also has issued a statement regarding the cancellation of Joseon Exorcist. "As SBS deeply recognizes the severity of the current situation, we have decided to terminate our broadcasting rights contract for Joseon Exorcist and cancel all broadcasts of the drama.

Huge Financial Loss

SBS said that 80 percent of the filming of the drama has been completed. The channel also said that most of the fees for broadcasting rights has already been paid. "Although we are concerned about the financial losses incurred by both the broadcast network and the production company, as well as the gap in our programming, SBS feels a heavy responsibility as a public broadcast network, and we are informing you that we have decided to cancel the program," statement from SBS read.

SBS had already clarified that the drama did not have any funding from Chinese sponsors. "It is completely false that the drama received Chinese funding. Unlike the other cases of Chinese sponsorship and production support that became issues recently, Joseon Exorcist is a drama that is being produced with 100 percent Korean funds," stated SBS.

Responding to criticisms after airing the first episode, SBS had said that showing of Chinese-style clothing and props were entirely the production team's mistake as it did not recognize the issue beforehand.