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'Yong Pal' Denies Plagiarism Claims

BY Adrienne Stanley | Aug 28, 2015 03:07 PM EDT

"Yong Pal" is facing allegations that the popular drama is plagiarized from the long-running comic, "City Conquest." On August 28, representatives for the production team at HB Entertainment addressed these claims, categorically denying that the SBS medical drama is based on the comic.

In a report published by the Korean outlet Daily Sports, a spokesperson for the production refuted the allegations. "Claims that 'Yong Pal' plagiarized the comic 'City Conquest' ignore that the drama has just a small cross-section of the [subject]," said the representative for HB.

Plagiarism claims have dominated Korean Drama headlines, throughout the past year. In January 2015, the webtoon writer behind "Jekyll, Hyde and I" accused the screenwriter of "Kill Me, Heal Me" of stealing the idea to craft a character dealing with multiple personalities. The allegations were notable due to the fact that the series ran simultaneously, with "Kill Me, Heal Me" receiving critical acclaim and a larger portion of ratings than "Jekyll, Hyde and I." 

The allegations against "Yong Pal" may also be attributed to its success. Representatives for "Yong Pal" cited the high ratings of the show, in the article published by Daily Sports.

"Suspicions of plagiarism are just attempts to ruin a drama that is doing well," said the spokesperson for HB Entertainment. 

"City Conquest" is an on-going Korean comic that was released in 1996. In 2013, the comic was tapped to serve as the source material for a drama starring Kim Hyun Joong. However, the series was dropped by KBS and was not picked by another network, after the initial content was deemed too violent to broadcast. "City Conquest" did not receive another opportunity to air.

Daily Sports noted the differences between "City Conquest" and "Yong Pal," as provided by HB Entertainment. Several points were made by the production company, including the emphasis that "Yong Pal" is the result of written works by Jang Hyeok Rin, who was responsible for the OCN series, "Reset." 

According to the article, there are numerous plot devices that are present in "City Conquest" that do not exist in "Yong Pal" including the a storyline involving Japanese gangsters and a supernatural incident involving a 10-year-old child. 

Meanwhile, "Yong Pal" continues to yield the highest ratings of a weeknight Korean drama since the success of "My Love from the Star," which also faced accusations of plagiarism, when it aired in 2014. 

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