Tiffany, a member of K-pop girl group Girls‘ Generation, has posted a second handwritten apology on her Instagram. The apology came on Saturday after the first one was deemed insincere by some.
Tiffany caused a stir after she posted a Japanese flag emoticon on the eve of Korea’s National Liberation Day and a rising sun flag design on National Liberation Day, Aug 15, when Korea attained independence from Japan in 1945. The rising sun flag is emblematic of Japanese wartime atrocities committed in the early 20th century. Tiffany was at the Tokyo Dome Concert on the day she posted the controversial image.
Tiffany wrote in her second apology:
"I am sorry that this apology comes so late. I was scared and nervous about having caused much hurt and disappointment. I should have said these things sooner, and I will try my best to convey how truly sorry I am.
I posted a rising sun flag design on my SNS on National Liberation Day. This is something I should never have done, given the significance of the day. I lacked knowledge about history to the extent of not knowing what the rising sun flag symbolizes, and I was insensitive to the pangs of the historical past. I am truly sorry for those who were hurt by my ignorance and indifference. I am very sorry to all those who had trusted and supported me.
I have been able to continue my music career thanks to those who have loved and supported me. I was not very aware of basic Korean history despite all the love that I received (from Korean fans). I am ashamed of myself for not having studied (Korean history) meticulously.
I panicked after realizing at the airport the gravity of my mistake, so I wrote my first apology in a state of panic and in a hurry. I should have put more thought and time into that apology, and I am very sorry that I did not. I have continuously regretted that I had missed the opportunity to write a more sincere apology, and I hope my sincerity comes through in this apology.
The recent incident enabled me to learn what is truly important. I will focus on studying things from now on that are more important than singing and dancing."
As a result of posting the controversial images on her SNS, Tiffany will be unable to attend the pep rally held by her agency S.M. Entertainment in Hawaii to mark the agency‘s 20th anniversary. She was also forced by public pressure to drop out of “Unnies’ Slam Dunk,” a reality show on KBS.
Tiffany posted an apology on National Liberation Day, but the apology was considered insincere by some people, as it was devoid of the specifics of Tiffany‘s blunder. It lacked the words, “National Liberation Day,” “rising sun flag,” or “Japanese flag.” Culture critic Ha Jae-geun speculated on EBS news on Monday that Tiffany probably left out the specifics in order to avoid possibly antagonizing her Japanese fans.
Tiffany's first apology had said:
“I am sorry to have caused so much trouble on this special and important day. I am very ashamed of myself for causing much disappointment to many people, and I deeply regret it. From now on, I will keep in mind that my words and actions are seen by many people, and I will always be more circumspect about my words and actions.”
By Lee Ji-hae (firstname.lastname@example.org)