"Designated Survivor: 60 Days" shocked viewers in its thirteenth episode with its frank discussion of anti-discrimination laws. Internet commentary around the episode made ironic note of the fact that the fake television president of the drama would make a direct appeal for laws that are generally considered verboten in South Korean politics by all except the most far left politicians.
The plot point has proven to be another way in which the Korean version of "Designated Survivor: 60 Days" has diverged from its American predecessor. Ji Jin-hee's version of the hapless title character who finds himself thrust into power is more concerned with obtaining legitimacy from the common citizens of his country compared to the major political power players.
Online commenters found the drama's attiude refreshing, enjoying the blunt way Ji Jin-hee asked why anti-discrimination laws could not be a legislative priority, Some described the drama as explicitly fantastical for getting into such territory, and others hoped that by broaching the subject in a public forum real politicians would take more notice of this popular issue.
Under South Korean law some classes are protected under separate anti-discrimination laws. There are laws against discriminating against the handicapped, gender, and employment status. The laws discussed in "Designated Survivor: 60 Days" are far more inclusive, and consist of medical history, sexual orientation, nationality, race, and social status.
More unified laws protecting against discrimination have been proposed in past governments, but are typically unable to advance even to the stage of debate. Part of this is due to past conservative control of the legislature, as conservatives in particular are vehemently opposed to discrimination protection for homosexuals. In the current legislative session they still stonewall efforts by far left politicians to put anti-discrimination laws to a vote while the majority party remains mostly silent on the issue.
Written by William Schwartz
"Designated Survivor: 60 Days" is directed by Yoo Jong-seon, written by Kim Tae-hee-I, and features Ji Jin-hee, Heo Joon-ho, Kang Han-na, Lee Joon-hyuk, Bae Jong-ok, Kim Gyu-ri. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/07/01~Now airing, Mon, Tue 21:30 on tvN.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] "Designated Survivor: 60 Days" Grabs Attention for Anti-discrimination Law Storyline"
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