Coupang Play issues statement after 'Anna' director says series was edited without her consent

Coupang Play's ″Anna″ starring Bae Suzy [COUPANG PLAY]

Coupang Play released a statement on Wednesday addressing the complaint raised by director Lee Zoo-young of its original series “Anna,” who claimed a day before that the streaming service made major edits to the series without her consent.

The streaming service said it was initially very supportive of the director and the production team, however, found out that the “director’s editing direction became significantly different from what was initially agreed with us.”

Coupang Play said it had requested multiple times that the director edit in accordance to what had been agreed upon, “however, the director refused to do so over several months.”

“With the consent of the producer and in accordance with the rights stipulated in the contract, Coupang Play edited the work to match the original production intent,” it stated. “As a result, the series became a great hit and received high praise from the viewers.”

However, to show that it still “respects the director’s editing direction,” Coupang Play added that it will release the director’s cut of the series, releasing all eight episodes of “Anna” sometime in August. “The series will be released as soon as a review by the Korea Media Ratings Board is completed.”

Director Lee, who wrote and directed “A Single Rider” (2017), made a statement through law firm Siwoo on Tuesday that Coupang Play excluded her and criticized the streaming service 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.”

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

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

“I also demanded that Coupang Play remove my name from the credits but it’s still in there,” he wrote. “I can’t stand seeing my name on the work that I didn’t even work on.”

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