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China Censored 'Descendants Of The Sun' Scene Featuring Military Showdown Between North And South Korean Soldiers

by Jesse L. / Mar 29, 2016 03:31 PM EDT
a scene from "Descendants of the Sun"

Censors working on behalf of China's government reportedly censored a scene from the first episode of the blockbuster K-drama "Descendants Of The Sun" that shows North and South Korean soldiers facing off on the battlefield.

"Some scenes, including a military confrontation between the South and North Korean soldiers, were changed [through] censorship," an anonymous official at Music & New, the company distributing the "Descendants Of The Sun" soundtrack, told the Korea Times on Tuesday

According to the Music & New official, the embargoed scenes also included a scene where a Doctors Without Borders physician treats a soldier from China.

Over 440 million viewers have watched "Descendants Of The Sun," which has been available on China's online video platform iQiyi. The 16 episodes of the K-drama, which premiered on Feb. 24, were simultaneously aired on the Korean Broadcasting System's KBS2 network.

It was the fact, unlike most K-dramas, "Descendants Of The Sun," was shot ahead of time, that peaked Chinese interest in the initial run of the series, which focuses on a romance between a special forces officer played by Song Joong Ki and a female doctor, portrayed by Song Hye Kyo.

"There were early filmed dramas before us, but they were largely made before they secured a broadcasting time and were weak on casting, lacking star actors and actresses," "Descendants of the Sun," producer Bae Kyung Soo explained to the Times earlier this month.

Producer Kim Woo Taek, director of NEW, the company that produces "Descendants Of The Sun" financed the ambitious $111 million project before a network was attached, said that he had no choice to pay for it himself, due to his own companies untested status and the departure from the normal South Korean television production process.

"It was certain that no one would want to invest in a film distribution company that's trying out a $111 million drama series for the first time," the the 52-year-old producer and "Descendants Of The Sun" financier told the Korea JoongAng Daily in an interview in his Seoul office on Monday.

"Moreover, we were adopting the early filming method, not to mention allowing televising rights only to terrestrial broadcasting companies."

It wasn't always clear that the pre-shot drama series (a rarity in the mostly live world of K-drama programs) would be the juggernaut hit that it was.

"Everyone said we were crazy, but I had confidence in our content and managed to make up the production cost as soon as we aired the first episode, thanks to profit made from selling rights to foreign broadcasters and from product placement," Kim said.

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