Chinese drama apologizes after using photo of BlackPink member
Published: Feb 21, 2023 11:23 PM
Comparison of the photos of South Korean idol Rose from BlackPink Photo: Screenshot from online

Comparison of the photos of South Korean idol Rose from BlackPink Photo: Screenshot from online

The makers of a Chinese drama show apologized on Tuesday after the show mistakenly used a photo of a South Korean pop star.

In the drama, Justice in the Dark, which is now being broadcast on Chinese video platforms, audiences spotted a photo of Rose, a popular idol from South Korean girl group BlackPink, who was depicted as a sex worker in one scene.

The drama's art team issued an apology on their account on Sina Weibo noting that it has taken down the scene and is now trying to contact Rose's agency to apologize.

"The photo was a mistake due to negligence from our production team, and it clearly cast a negative impact over the personal identity of Rose herself. We issued the notice to make an apology not only to Rose, but to all her fans as well as the audience," said the statement on Weibo.

The drama Justice in the Dark tells a story in a fictional world where the high crime rate has become the top focus of society. A case involving the murder of a delivery man becomes the main clue leading to a huge crime gang that has long been hiding away.
The photo of Rose was seen when the main character, police officer Luo Weizhao, is shown a catalogue of women at a hotel.

This is not the first time that a TV show has used a photo of a celebrity in one of its scenes.

In 2021, suspense drama Who is The Murderer featured a photo of a random victim and the photo turned out to be that of Song Qian, a member of South Korean girl group f(x).

Business insiders noted that in addition to copyright infringement, it could also damage the individual's reputation if the show modifies the person's photo through photoshop or other means.

TV shows sometimes need photos of deceased people, particularly suspense dramas.

"In that case, the film crew often take pictures of themselves and photoshop them," a Beijing-based entertainment insider told the Global Times.

Lü Xin, a Shanghai-based lawyer, told the Global Times on Tuesday that according to China's civil law, any profit-making organizations that use the image of a person without his or her consent are infringing on copyright.

"But compensation is not always necessary, as the copyright infringement can be solved simply through an apology," Lü noted.