SBS has again gotten involved in a plagiarism controversy.
Many netizens have compared SBS′ Yawang with KBS2′s Nice Guy, stating that the two pieces are similar.
Yawang is based on a manga, and is about Da Hae (Soo Ae), a woman who becomes First Lady after escaping her poverty, and Ha Ryu (Kwon Sang Woo), a man who sacrifices everything for her but is betrayed by her and becomes determined to have his revenge.
The general story sounds eerily familiar to that of Nice Guy.
Nice Guy was about how Jae Hee (Park Si Yeon) becomes the wife of a rich man after betraying Maru (Song Joong Ki), who stayed with her when she was in need.
That the couples break apart following a bout of murder is also a similarity between the two pieces.
The characters are also similar. Ha Ryu and Maru both start off as pure and naive boys, but they become agents of revenge after they are betrayed. They both also work as hosts and players in order to make ends meet. Da Hae and Jae Hee are both femme fatales who won′t let anything get in the their way to success. Ha Ryu and Maru are both helped by rich girls.
Producer Jo Young Kwang said about the similarities at the press conference for Yawang held on January 9, "I was preparing Yawang, but then I saw Nice Guy and I was surprised. In Yawang, Ha Ryu tries to have his revenge against Da Hae, whom he loved, but in Nice Guy, [Maru] tries to have his revenge against Jae Hee and ends up with Eun Ki (Moon Chae Won). When you watch it, you′ll see how the two are different."
This isn′t the first time SBS has gotten caught in such issues. Five Fingers was accused of plagiarising the novel Blood Rhapsody when it was brought up that the pianist setting, the family ties and certain scenes were similar. Cheongdamdong Alice has also been accused, as some stated that the drama took its love story between the owner of an imported designer goods shop and a designer from the novel Cheongdamdong Oh Doo Ri.
Some plagiarism issues have been taken to court. The court decided that MBC′s Queen Seon Deok had plagiarised the musical Queen of the Rose of Sharon, Seon Deok, because ′though the details are different, the conflicts between the characters are very similar.′
From this example, it seems though the producer explained that the love line will be different, Yawang and Nice Guy will still overlap and look like one plagiarised the other to some.
Nice Guy was praised as a high quality drama with its tightknit story, meaning that Yawang has a giant contender to overcome. It may be that if the drama doesn′t turn out to be a success, it could merely end up being called a Nice Guy imitator. Whether SBS will be able to overcome this hill is yet to be seen.