The series ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ is centered on Woo Young Woo, a genius lawyer on the Autistic spectrum. Actress Park Eun Bin portrays the main character Woo Young Woo, and the drama is praised for portraying someone on the Autistic Spectrum correctly and realistically. However, the series showed and highlighted society’s problematic views of people with Autism.
AllKpop reports a netizen’s post on July 18 on an online community forum entitled, “YouTubers who got into a ‘caricature of autism controversy for copying Woo Young Woo.” The netizen included YouTuber’s uploaded content, imitating the series’ main character’s behavioral characteristics. The YouTube videos were made as if they were trying to make fun of people on the Autism spectrum and also infantilized them. Naturally, these YouTubers who imitated Woo Young Woo in a distasteful manner received criticism.
The videos were set to mock Woo Young Woo, mimicking her actions to make fun of her. It also perpetuated a harmful stereotype, infantilization, wherein adults are treated as children. Most of the time, it’s in a condescending manner. But time has proven that Autistic individuals are like any person, capable of independence.
Perhaps the criticism will make other content creators cautious in making content surrounding ‘The Extraordinary Attorney Woo.’ After all, we can appreciate, learn and even adore Woo Young Woo. However, there’s no excuse for exploiting her and minimizing her character into some aesthetic for views.