The new K-Drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo is receiving high praise for raising awareness about autism for unfamiliar audiences. Before watching the K-Drama, many Korean viewers hadn’t realized that autism even had a spectrum.
The K-Drama focuses on Park Eun Bin‘s character Woo Young Woo’s journey as she starts a new job as an attorney.
About an autistic 27-year-old lawyer. Due to her high IQ of 164, impressive memory, and creative thought process, the brilliant Woo Young Woo graduated at the top of her class from a prestigious law school.
-IMDb’s plot description
Especially after watching one powerful scene, netizens are reflecting on how they would act in similar situations and how they can learn from the K-Drama.
Our society is the same… Go to any [online] community, and you’ll see disparaging comments about the less fortunate everywhere… Even in college communities, students show prejudice towards certain majors or a student’s background. This is our country’s reality.
After watching Woo Young Woo, I was deep in thought… If there was an article like that, although I wouldn’t have written those things myself, I may have read the article thinking those thoughts… (sic)
Some netizens are worried that Extraordinary Attorney Woo infantilizes those on the autism spectrum. According to Wikipedia, “Infantilization is the prolonged treatment of one who has a mental capacity greater than that of a child as though they are a child.”
A creator of one viral TikTok explained that the K-Drama might be enforcing harmful stereotypes about those on the autism spectrum.
I absolutely am tired of portrayals of autistic people in especially Korean media like this. It teaches everyone that this is what autistic people look like and act like, and we do not all act this way.
Granted people who are outwardly more so that fit into the stereotype still get discriminated against, but there’s also people like me who, I can’t even count how many times when I’ve disclosed I’m autistic people have told me, ‘Oh, but you don’t look Autistic’ or ‘you don’t act autistic’ or ‘I could have never told that you were autistic.’ I am, though. I have very clearly autistic traits that just don’t fit into that stereotype, and it makes it so much harder for me in society, in work, when this is the portrayal that people go with…
#stitch with @intr8vert And please be MINDFUL when you post about shows like this if you have no idea what it’s like for autistic people & the discrimination + struggles we face in society. This isn’t it. It really isn’t the representation we want. #autism #autistic #autistiktok #autisticadult #neurodivergent #neurodiverse #stereotypes #koreandrama #representation #dobetter
Still, other content creators with autism feel that Extraordinary Attorney Woo may be “one of the best portrayals of autism … seen in K-Dramas.”
It’s just sort of quite personally relatable for me. Obviously, everyone with autism is different. …But, personally, I relate to Young Woo a lot.
While they acknowledge that there are issues, like with a non-autistic actor portraying Woo Young Woo’s character, there are more positives than negatives.
At the very least Extraordinary Attorney Woo is creating much-needed dialogue around misconceptions, prejudice, and stereotypes. But while many netizens are showing empathy and understanding, one TikTok creator, @introducemywife2, is under fire for his recent TikTok making light of the show.
Captioned “Introducing My Extraordinary Wife,” the TikTok shows his wife mocking Woo Young Woo’s way of speaking and some of the character’s mannerisms. The husband blames his wife’s behavior on watching K-Dramas, proving that they are referencing Extraordinary Attorney Woo.
Wife: Come eat, dear.
Husband: Why are you talking like that?
Wife: If you don’t come to eat, people will think I’m a bad wife who doesn’t feed her husband. I will have failed to take good care of you and that will lead to the destruction of a healthy family.
Husband: Ye Eun…?
Wife: Meals are dear to my heart. I can change the menu depending on how I feel.
Husband: Stop watching so much K-Drama.
Netizens were outraged by the video.
- There is a reason this is uncomfortable to watch.
- They’re such attention wh*res, they don’t even know what’s wrong with their content.
- It is not okay to mock people with disabilities… That has NEVER been okay, why do they think it’s okay now?
And many netizens are confused about how the two content creators can so miss the point of Extraordinary Attorney Woo, which is to promote empathy and understanding.
아까 우영우병 그 사람도 이해안가고 짜증났는데 결국 이런 영상까지 올라옴 너무 무례하고 재미도 없는데 댓글에는 와 잘하신다ㅋㅋㅋ 이런 댓글들뿐임 어떻게 이렇게까지 드라마 의도를 뭉개버릴 수가 있는거지 pic.twitter.com/1UeHvKJ2eq
— 🔥 (@playracooooooon) July 18, 2022
I don’t get the people who use “Woo Young Woo” (her condition) as content. It’s so annoying. And look now, we have people making TikTok videos like this. This is SO RUDE and not funny at all. But the comments under the video are like, “Wow, you’re really good at acting, haha.” How do people take THAT K-Drama and turn it into THIS? Don’t they see the intention behind Extraordinary Attorney Woo?
Many netizens are not only voicing their disgust of the video but are emphasizing the need for empathy like the K-Drama calls for.
the way some people on sns lack sensitivity. not everything is for your "fun" & "entertainment" grow up. https://t.co/UjOs6tcabN
— ♥️ (@_Itszoyaa) July 18, 2022
some people truly watch without comprehension and understanding. how could you miss the point? https://t.co/6skq3osS6y
— alice환혼 eaw. (@soohyebeens) July 18, 2022
This is plain ignorance of the message that the drama wants to give and a complete display of ableism. Stop exploiting disorders and illnesses that really happens to other people just for clout. And another thing, as said in the drama, Autism spec. disorder is a wide spec- https://t.co/YlWemArjar
— 🐳Young woo's Kimbap🐳 #Extraordinaryattorneywoo (@getyapizzaslice) July 18, 2022
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