A new K-drama series has dominated the charts on Netflix once again and it's raising a very serious issue regarding school bullying in Korea.
The Glory is Song Hye Kyo's latest series where she plays the role of a preschool teacher seeking revenge on her former bullies that forced her to drop out of school and leave behind her dreams of becoming an architect.
Not to mention, her entire body is covered in permanent scars to remind her of the bullying and assault she experienced. It makes you wish this kind of torture never happens to anyone still in school.
But unfortunately, school bullying is a pretty big problem not just in Korea but in various parts of the world too. And sadly, the bullying that takes place in the K-drama was inspired real events.
Here's what we know about the story that inspired The Glory:
Is The Glory Based on a True Story?
While it's not a surprise to hear victims of school bullying who want to take revenge on their perpetrators, what happens in The Glory is not real. But there are some real events that inspired Kim Eun-sook to write The Glory.
As revealed by Eun-sook, she had an honest conversation with her daughter after fearing she might get unnecessary attention because of her line of work. But her daughter assured her that she wasn't "Kim Eun Sook like the past."
Still, that conversation sparked an idea on the writer after she was asked:
"Mom, would you be more heartbroken if I beat someone to death or if I got beat to death by someone else?"
This rhetorical question inspired her to start writing the script of The Glory.
In addition to this conversation with her daughter, Eun-sook based some of the scenes in the series on several incidents that actually took place.
In the series, young Moon Dong-eun (played by Jung Ji-so) was assaulted by young Park Yeon-jin (played by Shin Ye-eun) and her friends. They burned parts of her body with a hair iron.
Sadly, this is an actual incident that took place in 2006 when it was reported that a perpetrator burnt her victim with a hair iron. Her chest was also scratched with a hairpin before all her money was stolen.
Shortly after the incident was reported, the perpetrator was arrested.
Kim Hieora, one of the show's bullies, was involved in a controversy involving school violence when she was still in school. You can read more about it here.
Is School Bullying a Problem in Korea?
One of the reasons why The Glory is gaining attention is because it does more than simply entertain its audience. The show actually raises concerns about school bullying.
In South Korea, the number of cases related to school violence increases every year. To draw inspiration for The Glory, Eun-sook spoke to several school bullying victims to learn about the trauma they went through.
Eun-sook opens up about what she learned from her sources and says:
"The most hurtful words and the ones they heard the most were: "So you didn't do anything wrong?""
Right now, however, the show doesn't give an end to the story and whether Dong-eun actually gets the revenge she has long planned. We'll know more when the show returns for a second season on March 31, 2023.
You can watch the Inside Look clip of The Glory here: