Singer Tiffany of Girls’ Generation is in trouble after a series of controversial social media posts related to Japan.
During a recent trip to Tokyo for a concert, she marked her arrival by posting a Snapchat that included the “rising sun” flag, which was used by the Imperial Japanese Army and remains to many a symbol of the country’s wartime aggression. She also used an emoji of the modern Japanese flag in an Instagram caption that same day.
The posts were made on Aug. 15, which is the day Korea celebrates its independence from Japanese colonial rule (1910-45).
In the wake of the controversy, Tiffany will step down from KBS2’s popular reality program “Unnies’ Slam Dunk,” the network announced Thursday afternoon.
“After thoroughly discussing the latest controversy with SM Entertainment [the singer’s agency] and [the show’s] production crew, we decided that it would be the best for Tiffany to step down, considering the negative emotions that her actions have aroused in people,” the network wrote in a press release.
“We will continue with five members without filling up the absent spot [left by Tiffany].”
The singer promptly apologized after the controversy first emerged, posting a photo to her Instagram that read, “I’m deeply sorry for hurting people’s feelings due to my mistake on such a special day. I deeply regret my behavior and feel ashamed of disappointing so many people.”
With many of the issues from Japan’s colonization still unresolved, many of her fans expressed disappointment with her posts regardless of whether or not she understood what the rising sun flag symbolizes.
For many victims of Japanese imperialism in both Korea and other parts of the world, the flag is considered as offensive as the Nazi swastika.
By Jin Min-ji