Writers Hong Jung Eun and Hong Mi Ran (the Hong sisters) of tvN’s “Hwayugi” have been cleared of plagiarism charges.

Last May, internet novel writer Ttangyeol pressed charges against the Hong sisters for plagiarizing her novel “Aeyugi” and asked to be compensated for the damages made. The Hong sisters had denied the claims, saying that the drama had already entered the planning stage before the publishing of “Aeyugi” in 2015. Both “Hwayugi” and “Aeyugi” are based on the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West.”

On February 15, tvN’s “Hwayugi” stated, “Regarding the lawsuit, the 11th civil affairs department of the Seoul Western District Court ruled against the plaintiff, dismissing the charges.”

The court stated in their official ruling, “The drama ‘Hwayugi’ is different from internet novel ‘Aeyugi’ in the specific way things are expressed, and excluding all parts based on the original work ‘Journey to the West,’ the drama and novel have very few parts that appear to be similar. Therefore, it is difficult to say that the characteristics of ‘Aeyugi’ can be seen in ‘Hwayugi,’ and we cannot acknowledge that they are substantially alike. It is reasonable to conclude that they are two different stories.”

After the ruling was announced, the Hong sisters stated, “We want to share our thoughts on the pain and damages received by creators who are plagued by groundless plagiarism accusations, and we hope this ruling will be an opportunity for people to see the consequences groundless plagiarism accusations can bring about.” They added that they are looking into filing a lawsuit against Ttangbyeol for defamation and will take strong legal action against those who spread false rumors online over the past few years.

You can start watching “Hwayugi” with English subtitles below:

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