Yoo Yeon Seok in Mr. Sunshine
The drama tells the love story between people that come from different social strata, a young man who was a slave before became a soldier, and a woman who was born to a noble family.
Gong Dong-mae was a son of a butcher that moved up in Black Dragon Association until he became the leader. He came back to Korea after leaving the country when he was a boy, returning as an American soldier in 1871, when Korea is undergoing a period of change.
The staff of Mr. Sunshine talked about the character that Yoo Yeon-seok plays and not forgetting to praise his acting in the drama. “Yoo Yeon-seok had two different characters, he is a cold person and without any hesitation to slash someone with his sword, but he’s also a person that can give his love to Go Ae-shin. He was really careful while showing the character that he plays.”
But sadly the Gong Dong-mae character generated some controversy, and tvN acknowledged there were problems with it.
On July 13, the drama’s producer made the following statement, “Many people said that the character of Gong Dong-Mae romanticized the pro-Japanese stance, and it didn’t reflect the true historical context of the time. Therefore, the staff already modified the entire character. The parts that we already finished filming will be modified according to the new character description as well.”
“We absolutely had no intention of romanticized the pro-Japanese. Our intention was to portraying the devastation of a man that was born as peasants during a violent and cruel time, where life and family are shaken to the core by the soldiers and forced to live a fate that he could change. As it’s a drama about a sensitive age, we now realize that we should have been more careful about our efforts,” they continued.
On the official Mr. Sunshine website, the character description of Gong Dong-Mae has been changed to the newer version. It was stated that Gong Dong-mae was a part of the Black Dragon Society, which many people pointed out was historically pro-Japanese.