K-pop star Chaeyoung has found herself in hot water after fans noticed her wearing a TShirt with a Swastika symbol on it. One of the nine members of popular girl group Twice, Chaeyoung had uploaded a photo on Instagram where she could be seen wearing a T-shirt depicting controversial figure Sex Pistol bassist Sid Vicious sporting the hateful Nazi symbol. She has since deleted the post and issued an apology to her fans for the error in judgement.
“Hello, this is Chaeyoung from Twice. I sincerely apologize regarding the Instagram post. I didn’t correctly recognize the meaning of the tilted swastika in the t-shirt I wore,” she wrote, “I deeply apologize for not thoroughly reviewing it, causing concern. I will pay absolute attention in the future to prevent any situation similar from happening again. Sincerely apologize again.”
Twice’s parent company JYP Entertainment, too, issued a statement apologising for not reviewing the situation thoroughly.
Fans of the group, popularly known as Onces, immediately jumped to the idol’s defence claiming that it was an honest oversight and that it doesn’t necessarily reflect Chaeyoung’s own views as it’s a common practice amongst idols to wear clothes picked out by a stylist.
NINE or NONE. ALWAYS. 🤗— 9s • ONCE♥︎TWICE FOREVER • 🄼🄸🄽🅃ˢᵗʳᵃʷᵇᵉʳʳʸ (@mintstrawberry_) March 22, 2023
People make mistakes. She apologized. It may not have been regocnized as such as it seems no one stopped her from wearing it in the first place.
Let's just educate and stop the hate. Idols are human beings too. ❤️ We love you our precious Chaeyoung. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/584gjBRUCD
The claim was immediately dismissed as an older photo of Chaeyoung wearing the same T-shirt was dug up and it was revealed that it wasn’t picked by a stylist and was her own.
It was also pointed out that the swastika was a globally recognised symbol associated with Hitler and the Nazi party and her being Korean does not excuse her for not knowing about its history.
However, this was not the first time Chaeyoung had worn something controversial and anti-semitic. In a recent televised performance, the 23-year-old idol was seen wearing a QAnon T-shirt.
For those not in the know, QAnon is a far Right political movement that came into popularity in 2017 and is known for spreading dangerous conspiracy theories in defence of former US President Donald Trump, most of which have anti-Jewish basis.
Prior to the scandal, Twice was at the cusp of following in the footsteps of K-pop groups like BTS and Blackpink by becoming massively popular in the United States. The group’s recently-released album Ready To Be had made its way to the top of the Billboard 200 and had set new streaming records globally.
How this controversy affects Twice’s trajectory in the country is yet to be seen, however this is not the first time K-pop idols have come under fire for being disrespectful of other cultures.
not my ss but as a once i’m so mad that chaeyoung has dragged the whole group’s career down, this is gonna affect them in the long term pic.twitter.com/bYHri1t3Xl— like crazy⁷🧣⁹ ¹²⁷ (@yawnrep) March 21, 2023
In 2022, girl group Purple Kiss caused a stir with an image of member Na Go-eun where she was seen wearing an outfit with Parteiadler insignia used by the Nazi party. The image was immeidately recalled and re-released with the symbol edited out.
Love wearing and glorifying nazi’s not once but twice! Purple kiss on nazi top <3 pic.twitter.com/o530cFxMO6— ISSA MEETING PIXY 🎉 (@GardenLilis) November 19, 2022
Internationally recognised rapper G-Dragon, from the group Big Bang has had many instances of cultural appropriation, including one in 2013 where he uploaded a photo to his Instagram in blackface.
Blackpink’s Lisa was also called out in 2019 for wearing box braids in the music video for their hit track ‘Kill This Love’. The hairstyle is rooted in African culture and has been the subject of hot debate as many African American women have been forced to get rid of their braids to comply with racist dressing standards.
The rapper found herself in trouble again when she was seen performing next to a statue of Lord Ganesha on the floor in the music video of ‘How You Like That’ in 2020. While the mishap was not acknowledged by the idol or the agency, the music video was re-released with the statue edited out.
Where do you think the responsibility of cultural sensitivity lies: with the idol or the system around them?