“A Killer Paradox” Faces Unexpected Controversy Over A Character’s Resemblance To Major Korean Politician


The popular Netflix original drama, A Killer Paradox, has landed itself in a unique controversy over one of its character’s likenesses to a South Korean politician.

A poster for “A Killer Paradox” | Netflix 

A Killer Paradox, starring Choi Woo Sik and Song Suk Gu, is a thriller drama that follows the story of a college student who ends up killing multiple criminals in one after another accidental murder.

Choi Woo Sik (left) and Sung Suk Gu (right)

One of the characters in the show, Hyeong Jeong Guk (portrayed by actor Seung Eui Yeol), is a corrupt older politician in the story, incarcerated for his crimes. His looks are defined by a neatly-combed grey hairstyle paired with dark wire-rimmed glasses.  Many claimed that this typical visual of the character bears a high resemblance to Lee Jae Myung, the leader of the main opposition, the Democratic Party of Korea, who also wears dark-rimmed glasses and sports neatly-combed grey hair.

Seung Eui Yeol as Hyeong Jeong Guk | Netflix Lee Jae Myung | Yonhap

Supporters of Lee have also taken issue with the character of Hyeong Jeong Guk, claiming it deliberately alludes to the political bigwig’s past controversies. In one of the recent episodes of the show, Hyeong was seen eating sushi behind bars with prisoner number 4,421 visible on his chest.

| Netflix

This number, in particular, has brought in allegations that the show’s makers were trying to refer to Lee’s suspected involvement in a high-profile corruption scandal surrounding a redevelopment project in Seongnam while he was the city’s mayor. Reports had claimed that the construction company involved in the corruption had made ₩442 billion KRW (about $333 million USD) in illegal profits from the project. The Democratic Party leader is currently under trial over this corruption case, but he has claimed innocence so far.

Even the character eating sushi was seen by many as an indirect jab at Lee’s wife, Kim Hye Gyeong, who was sentenced to a prison term for misusing public funds for personal use in 2023. Among all the charges against her was the allegation that she had ordered sushi with a government credit card when her husband was serving as the Governor of the Gyeonggi Province.

Kim Hye Gyeong with Lee Jae Myung

It seems that many netizens saw some merit in these allegations, given how widely posts related to the issue have been shared on online communities. Netflix had to put out an official statement denying the rumors, saying that these correlations were “completely baseless.”

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