Controversies Surrounding Nation’s Girl Group TWICE
Who doesn’t know TWICE? Since their debut with Ooh Ahh in 2015, they’ve received many awards over the last four years, to the point they’ve become the top girl-group in Korea right now. With their catchy songs, unique personalities, pretty members, and quirky concepts in every era, it’s not a surprise that they managed to become the nation’s girl-group that everybody loves.
But you know what they say, there is no success without hardships, and that quote can apply to TWICE. Since their debut they’ve been caught up in many controversies.
In this article, we will give you all the information you need to know about the controversies surrounding TWICE. They’ve been through so much, yet they still manage to be one of the most popular girl-groups in the world right now. So, stay tuned!
Tzuyu Waving Taiwan’s Flag
In an episode of My Little Television broadcast by MBC in late November, 2015, JYP Entertainment power rookies TWICE were given the mission of holding the flag of their nation of origin, as the group is made up of members of various nationalities. Tzuyu, a member born in Taiwan, welcomed online viewers as Taiwanese and held a flag for the Republic of China.
After the broadcast, the Chinese-based Taiwanese singer, Huang An, went to his Weibo account, where he accused Tzuyu of being a Taiwanese independence activist, calling her a traitor. Since the broadcast, the backlash from Tzuyu’s behavior accumulated criticism of the younger Taiwanese K-Pop singer from both the Chinese media and netizens. Certain of TWICE’s activities, including endorsements and planned appearances, were canceled and/or suspended, as well as the broadcasting station BTV, among others, in order to prohibit the girls from ever appearing.
The backlash persisted with Chinese netizens boycotting JYP Entertainment as a whole, while trending #boycottJYP on Weibo (with more than 68 million hits as of January 14th, according to TV Report) and several Chinese media sources taking anything down on their platforms with regard to TWICE. The Tzuyu scandal also affected other JYP Entertainment artists who had activities in China, including solo activities from Nichkhun and promotions from 2PM.
Although Tzuyu has no political agenda, JYP Entertainment was found to have supposedly changed Tzuyu’s formal profile from “Nationality: Taiwan” to “Birthplace: Taiwan” and lastly “Birthplace: China Taiwan”.
A video featuring Tzuyu was released to the public on January 15, 2016, where she apologized for her actions, saying that China and Taiwan are one, reading during the recording from a sheet of paper. It obtained over 4 million views in just over 24 hours since the video was released.
“Hi everyone, I’ve got to tell everyone something.
Hi everybody, I’m Chou Tzuyu. Sorry, I was supposed to have come out sooner and apologized. Because I didn’t understand how to deal with the current situation, I was scared to face everybody directly, so now I’m just speaking out. There’s just one China. The two shores are one. I’m proud to be Chinese. Because of my words and actions during overseas promotions, I, as a Chinese, hurt the company and the feelings of netizens. I’m really sorry and guilty. In order to reflect seriously, I decided to stop all present activities in China. I apologize to all of you again. Sorry.”
She was just sixteen when the incident happened and what people did to her was totally unfair. One netizen commented that because of this controversy, Tzuyu has changed a lot, she became more shy and quiet on variety shows, and it always seems like she is afraid that another controversy might break out again if she makes a mistake in a variety show. Poor girl, luckily, ONCE always has her back and support her!
tzuyu apologising for merely holding onto her country's flag. she was born and raised in Taiwan. what is wrong about that?
— MOVED!! ⬇⬇ (@assmyeon) January 15, 2016
As a 99'liner as well, im going to break down inside…. just how much tzuyu has to endure and suffer… all she did was hold a taiwan flag.
— holy ketchup (@MINAXMYOUI) January 15, 2016
Nayeon Using SoundCloud
When she uploaded a screenshot of Taeyeon’s latest song, she didn’t intend any damage, but by doing so, TWICE member Nayeon provided photographic evidence that she used SoundCloud to stream Taeyeon’s Secret on February 21, 2016. The issue was that she was streaming a version that was illegally uploaded to Soundcloud.
Nayeon has deleted the post and followed up with an apology as netizens pointed this out.
“I understand as a musician that I must be aware of how I use and express myself, but I was careless. I’m not going to create the mistake again and use only official music distribution services,” said Nayeon through Instagram.
Earlier, Nayeon used a screen grab of Taeyeon’s song’s to rave about the track and say the song made her emotional. While many people illegally download music, many were disconcerted that Nayeon — who is likely suffering from illegal downloads, herself — would use the service.
What do you guys think about it?
Mina’s Rising Sun Flag Hat
Another subject of debate were the pictures of TWICE’s Mina wearing a hat with the Rising Sun (Imperial) flag at an event in December, 2016. The pictures featuring Mina wearing a Mt. Fuji hat printed with the Japanese Rising Sun Flag started slowly becoming a netizen concern. In Korea, the flag is considered to be highly offensive. During Japan’s control of South Korea, it was used by the Imperial Japanese Army, it has become an extremely contentious emblem due to the horrific acts that occurred under the flag.
It seems, though, that Mina didn’t intentionally wear this hat or even know that the symbol of the Rising Sun was even on the hat. Immediately after the pictures were found, the person who gave her the hat spoke up in Mina’s defense.
Fans often take adorable hats and other accessories to put on fansigns for their favorite idols. Indeed, during fansigns, idols must constantly put on and take off accessories to pose for pictures, so it’s clearly not entirely Mina’s fault. Those at the fan signing also said that the hat was immediately removed by Mina’s manager. Whether or not he realized the hat featured the imperial flag is unknown, but it’s clear that she didn’t wear the hat long since there was no sharing of pictures. Some fans, however, caught video of what occurred.
What do you guys think of this situation? Is it Mina’s fault?
Chaeyoung’s Private Blog and Downloaded Movie Illegally
A trending post on Pann is gathering comments as it talks about Twice’s Chaeyoung’s supposed personal blog. In a post, she shares screenshots of her entries, including some of her personal thoughts and emotions that the OP assumes to be addressed to her boyfriend.
“A flower I received from a stranger, it’s the same flower given to the same receiver, but it’s distinct, it’s different, it’s different. That’s just what I can’t do. Honestly, my emotions are different. It’s evident that it’s not (the same) and words these days that they say pointless, they fit in my emotions rightly.”
She wrote on a different flower post:
“The person who gives me flowers all the time. Thinking about me while choosing flowers, it’s a string tied. Violet Freesia. Just like that, you can’t really like it more than enough.”
And another one:
“It’s different flowers every time, different strings, but the same person’s heart.”
This one, too:
“It’s a very sad day. It’s cold and I’m cooling even so it’s not. Let’s try until we can understand (each other).”
Not only that, but netizens also suspect that Chaeyoung illegally downloaded a film and accidentally published it to her fans.
The latest article on Pann dug up one of her blog posts, where she spoke about watching a film. It was found, however, that at the moment the movie was not accessible for video-on-demand service, leaving fans to fear if it was illegally downloaded by the young singer. It was also suggested that, given the fact it was an R-rated movie, Chaeyoung obviously watched a movie she was not permitted to watch.
As more of her old blog posts come to light, it caused netizens to question whether the singer’s supposed bad habits were slowly creeping onto the internet.
What do you think about this situation?
Mina Receives Death Threat
For those who don’t know, Ilbe is an online community that includes users with far-right political views who often post hate-filled content. In May, 2017, a community user from Ilbe sent a death threat to TWICE’s Mina, writing “If you don’t slap your boyfriend and rip his mouth apart, I’ll come and kill you” and posting a disturbing image next to the message.
The post was rapidly removed, but screenshots of it made their way across different online communities. Subsequently, the Ilbe user submitted an apology letter to Mina and TWICE’s fans, stating that “[they] wrote the post without considering that it would be a direct danger to the individual concerned and cause fear. [They] would like to beg forgiveness as [they] pathetically apologize to the fans of Mina and TWICE after realizing late that this caused a wonderful shock.”
JYP Entertainment released an official response in reaction to the threatening message, saying that the company intends to take legal action against Ilbe’s offending user.
Here’s the complete official statement from JYP:
“Hi, this is JYP Entertainment.
Having discussed the post created on May 13, 2017, by an Ilbe user containing a death threat against TWICE’s Mina with our legal team, we relay that we are going to file civil and criminal suits. There’s not going to be leniency. We will also take a strong position in the future against comparable occurrences with the help of all possible aspects of legal intervention.”
What do you think about it?