K-drama ‘King the Land’ offends Arab viewers with portrayal of alcoholic & womaniser prince

The TV network has since apologised.

Mandy How |
July 13, 2023, 11:33 am

Actor Anupam Tripathi has been inundated with hate comments after his role as Prince Samir in one of the latest K-dramas, King the Land.


The rom-com did not land well with Arab viewers when it portrayed the prince as a womaniser, as well as one who drinks and patronises nightclubs.

Anupam was also Abdul Ali in Squid Game, if you find him a familiar face.

Photo via Anupam Tripathi’s Instagram page

He appeared in episodes seven and eight of King the Land, where he took an interest in lead actress Im Yoon-ah’s character.

Image via Netflix

However, audiences highlighted that the portrayal was disrespectful to the Arabs, as they are predominantly Muslims who should not drink or club.

Some also felt that an Indian actor shouldn’t be playing the role of an Arab prince.

The heat has spread to Anupam’s Instagram page, where unhappy viewers are demanding an apology:

A few people came to his defence, though.

TV network responds

The drama’s production team has provided a statement to Korean news outlets following the outrage.

Here’s a translated version:

“All characters, areas, and nominations that appear in the drama are works of fiction. We never specified the prince’s country of origin.

We had no intentions of mocking or distorting any particular culture.

The production team respects various cultures and will pay more attention to detail so that no further discomfort will be raised by the viewers.”

Although the team says that they never specified the prince’s country of origin, Netflix—where the show is also streaming— describes Prince Samir as Arab.

Subsequently on July 12, JTBC network released a statement apologising for their depiction of another culture and promising to be more sensitive moving forward.

No other mention was made about the prince’s origin.

Top photos via Netflix

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