Controversy surrounding Coupang Play series 'Anna' deepens

Poster for Coupang Play's original series ″Anna″ [COUPANG PLAY]

The controversy surrounding “Anna,” an original series by local streaming service Coupang Play, deepened as six staff members who participated in the creation of the series issued a statement Thursday supporting director Lee Zoo-young.

Staff members Lee Ui-tae, Jung Hee-sung, Lee Jae-wook, Park Beom-joon, Kim Jung-hoon and Park Joo-kang showed their support for Lee, saying their “completed work was unilaterally altered by Coupang Play” and requested the service erase their names from the credits.

“It is the highest form of discourtesy for the production team to use our names in a work [which was altered without our consent],” the statement said.

Kim Jeong-hoon, an editor who worked on the series with Lee also commented on his Facebook Tuesday that the current version is not the work that he and the director worked on day and night.

Dispute surrounding the series initially arose from a complaint made by director Lee through law firm Siwoo on Tuesday. She criticized Coupang Play for not only cutting the length of the series short, turning it into a six-episode drama when the original had eight episodes, but also tampering with the structure and the order of the scenes, “which interfered with the show’s narrative, filming, editing and intention.”

According to the director, the version of “Anna” released to the public on June 24, was “unrecognizable” from her version. She demanded Coupang Play release a public apology to her and the staff who worked on the series and delete her name from the six-episode version that’s currently on the platform.

The streaming service responded the following day that Lee and the service had their differences as to how the series should be edited and that the platform had edited the work “to match the original production intent,” which was done so with the consent of the producer and in accordance with the rights stipulated in the contract.

However, Coupang Play said it will release the director’s cut of the series consisting of eight episodes out of respect to the director’s original intent.

“Anna” is a psychological thriller starring actor Bae Suzy. Bae plays a character named Yu-mi, who ditches her identity and lives as someone else named Anna because of one lie that she told.