International fans boycott new MBC drama ‘Man Who Dies to Live’ for cultural appropriation

International fans boycott new MBC drama ‘Man Who Dies to Live’ for cultural appropriation

A new MBC drama which began airing this past July 19, by the title of ‘Man Who Dies to Live’, has international fans outraged for appropriating Islam culture. 

The drama stars Choi Min Soo, Shin Sung Rok, Kang Ye Won, Lee So Yeon, and more, and tells the story of a Korean man who ends up living in a small, fictional kingdom in the Middle East in the 1970’s. The man, who earns the name Said Faad Ali during his stay in the Middle Eastern Kingdom, earns high social status there, receiving the ruler’s favor. However, he discovers that he has a daughter in Korea, and is ordered by the ruler of the kingdom to go find his daughter in one month, after which Said Faad Ali will marry the ruler’s daughter. 

The drama’s official posters are as follows:

In the official posters as well as in episode 1 of the drama, lead actor Choi Min Soo dresses freely in clothing resembling traditional Muslim-style wear, interacting with numerous foreign actors and actresses wearing traditional hijab. However, it seems the foreign actors and actresses recruited for the drama include a variety of races, including Middle Eastern, Caucasian, etc. Other symbols seemingly appropriating culture include tableware, the setting including Muslim architecture, Choi Min Soo speaking the language of the kingdom, and others. 

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International fans have taken to social media to boycott the drama, demanding the MBC stop airing it on public broadcasts. Outraged fans are making moves to petition the issue to MBC, as well as spreading the word. 

Look at some screen captures from episode 1 of ‘Man Who Dies to Live’. Do you think ‘Man Who Dies to Live’ is inappropriate for broadcasts?