K-Drama “Sh ** ting Stars” has just premiered, but has already been criticized for two main reasons

tvN ‘s new K-Drama Beautiful stars just premiered this weekend. Yet it is already facing great criticism from viewers.

Lee Sung Kyung (left) and Kim Young Dae (right) enter Beautiful stars poster.

Beautiful stars (also known as Shooting stars) has been one of the most anticipated K-dramas of April. Everyone was excited to see all the stars, including the model, actress and singer Lee Sung Kyung and actor Kim Young Dae as PR team leader Oh Han Byeol and A-list actor Gong Tae Sung, respectively.

As one of the country’s most beloved stars, Gong Tae Sung (Kim Young Dae) is used to living his life in the spotlight. With the eyes of the world constantly fixed on him, Tae Sung does his best to keep a smile on his face and his temper in check. Seen by the people as a kind and polite young man, the only people who do not buy into his entire good guy personna are those who work for his management company.

As the leader of the company’s PR team, Oh Han Byeol (Lee Sung Kyung) knows exactly what Tae Sung really is. Knowing his strong desire to win and his warm temperament, Han Byeol has had to use his excellent speech and crisis management skills on a number of occasions to keep Tae Sung’s reputation as immaculate as it seems. Constant quarreling, there is no one in the world who is better suited for the role of natural enemies than Han Byeol and Tae Sung.

Tae Sung and Han Byeol seem doomed to hate each other forever. But can the time they are forced to spend together change these feelings, or will their mutual disgust last forever?

A funny story about the ultimate love / hate relationship, ‘Sh ** ting Stars’ is a 2022 Korean romantic comedy drama directed by Lee Soo Hyun.

– Rakuten Viki

The combination of star power and the intriguing plotline caught the attention of K-Drama fans long before it was released, and the fun promos certainly increased the expectation.

Finally, it premiered on its first episode on Friday, April 22nd and the second on Saturday, April 23rd. Still, it disappointed many during the first few minutes …

The K-Drama begins with introductions of its two main characters. Oh Han Byeol (Lee Sung Kyung) introduced himself as “Public Relations Team Leader at Starforce Entertainment.” She describes her role and responsibilities, such as press releases, communication between management and artists, and the defense of represented artists.

Episode 1 of “Sh ** ting Stars.” | tvN via Rakuten Wiki

During an interview, Oh Han Byeol is interrupted by her phone ringing. So she responds to being asked about one of her company’s actors, Gong Tae Sung. She explains that he is currently abroad and doing volunteer work in Africa.

I’m not sure what he’s up with. He volunteers in Africa, so he’s probably working hard at digging a well.

– Oh Han Byeol

Episode 1 of “Sh ** ting Stars.” | tvN via Rakuten Wiki

While perhaps intended to portray the character in a positive light, viewers found the following scene offensive.

It cuts from South Korea to Africa with stereotypical images and “traditional” music that some say is to imitate Disney‘s Lions King.

Episode 1 of “Sh ** ting Stars.” | tvN via Rakuten Wiki

If that wasn’t bad enough, the whole scene continued to perpetuate stereotypes. Gong Tae Sung is in Africa (it is never specified, which generically rejects the continent as a monolith) to drill for water.

Episode 1 of “Sh ** ting Stars.” | tvN via Rakuten Wiki

Netizens called on the K-Drama to portray Africa as a country rather than an entire continent and portray its male protagonist with a “white savior” complex who comes to help bring water, as if Africa does not already have access to water .

Viewers also noted that the editors included a “yellow filter.” This technique is often used in Hollywood movies when foreign locations, including Mexico, India, and Africa, are portrayed as “less fortunate,” “dangerous,” and “underdeveloped.”

In addition, another viewer noted that although it was portrayed that Africa was “underdeveloped” and needed help accessing water, Tae Sung was able to video chat without any problems. So it also contradicted itself.

Therefore, while K-Drama fans were initially thrilled and found that it had a lot of potential, this scene left a bad taste. And many have a hard time moving past and enjoying the rest of the drama.

African K-Drama fans are especially disappointed. They call the K-drama for its hurtful stereotypical depiction of Africa.

K-Drama fans feel that tvN took a step in the wrong direction, and it is especially backward to portray Africa in such a way in 2022. Yet it is not only Beautiful stars who have this problem. Many dramas portray any foreign country stereotypically.

Unfortunately, the depiction of Africa is not the only one Beautiful stars is under fire for. A few viewers also point to a neglected but disturbing scene.

In episode 2, the female lead is almost a victim of sexual assault as the male lead tries to remove his pants to prove he is “sterile”, following false reports that he is eunuch due to an unfortunate typo. Her staff, however, come to her rescue just in time.

Episode 2 of “Sh ** ting Stars.” | tvN

Yet the moment is outrageous and triggering. The worst part is that it seemed to be played for laughs.

Although there are far fewer criticisms online regarding this scene than the Africa-based scenes, it does not make it any less alarming.

At present, tvN has not done much to make things right after two very problematic elements. Viewers say the background music used in the Africa scene so far has changed.

Nevertheless, it already has so many disturbing story elements that it has left much to be desired for viewers.

It certainly did not leave a good first impression.

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