Historical Drama Draws Ire of Putschists

      April 10, 2005 21:03

      “The Fifth Republic”, an MBC drama series about the Chun Doo-hwan administration of that name which followed the assassination of president Park Chung-hee in 1979, is generating controversy ahead of its start on April 23.

      MBC said Sunday that 17 key participants in the Chun Doo-hwan coup, including former Korean Central Intelligence Agency head Chang Se-dong, wrote to the broadcaster pointing out what they say are errors in the script of the “Fifth Republic.” They threatened legal action if their demands are not met, MBC said.

      The putschists said living figures appeared under their real names in the “Fifth Republic,” and any inaccuracies laid the broadcaster open to charges not only of distorting history but also of assault on a person’s dignity and libel.

      But Shin Ho-gyun, the head of MBC’s Drama Department, dismissed the demands, saying an objective evaluation of the events had already been established in court. He added the writer researched the story for three years.

      Chun Doo-hwan was found guilty of treason for his involvement in the Dec. 12 coup.

      MBC has in turn drawn accusations of trying to generate free publicity for the drama. One viewer of the AmniOmni television program said the broadcaster was trying to draw sympathy from viewers by publicizing the fact that it received external pressure.

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