ENA‘s K-Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo is being widely criticized yet again, this time for a line in the drama that viewers perceived as insulting to cancer patients. During the drama’s episode, which aired on August 11, Jung Myung Suk (played by Kang Ki Young) was diagnosed with stage 3 stomach cancer.
Woo Young Woo (played by Park Eun Bin) visits her mentor at the hospital. Jung Myung Suk is seen telling Woo Young Woo not to worry, to which Woo Young Woo replied with a remark many viewers found offensive.
Stage 3 stomach cancer has a survival rate of 30-40%.
— Woo Young Woo
After the episode aired, current cancer patients or those who have been affected by a loved one, who is currently battling cancer, criticized the show for making a joke out of the disease.
“I seriously think another writer wrote this episode.”
“Patients at cancer centres really enjoy watching this drama, but it angers me to see the drama stab them in the back. Usually, whenever a drama talks about cancer, they change the channel, but I’m sure they were caught off-guard.”
“The premise of a cancer patient isn’t problematic, but the fact it repeats phrases like, ‘I don’t have long to live,’ and then to make a joke at the expense of the cancer patient is just awful.”
“Those who try to defend the scene by saying the scene was to show the reality of autism spectrum, need to understand that cancer patients live with this reality every day and do not need a reminder about a 30% survival rate.”
“My mom returned from chemotherapy, and despite being tired, she watched the drama, even setting the alarm for it, only for her favourite character to repeat cancer survival rates and remind her she is going to die soon. How cruel is that? If someone has ever lost somebody they loved to the disease, there is no way they can use it so lightly. At the very least, she shouldn’t have repeated that he was going to die. So I hope you go through something like this to learn how it feels.”
The reaction of the fans is divided with some defending the drama, and others blaming them for not being considerate enough.