SHINee member Jonghyun was in hot soup after he ridiculed Indian culture and passed of apparently scornful comments on gays and lesbians during his first solo concert. After being harangued for being insensitive and disrespectful to other cultures Jonghyun has now offered profuse apologies.
Jonghyun played a VCR and the contents, which were supposed to be funny, ended up disappointing his fans. During one portion of it, he dressed as someone from South Asia with an intention to entertain and draw humour. Not only that, fans took offense at his other actions and his comment about homosexuality during the concert. It was not expected from a socially aware and well-informed person like him.
The SHINee member said in his apology: "That is clearly my fault, and I will delete it from the video. It is a fault that I have no excuse for, and I bow my head in apology to everyone who was disappointed by it."
He explained that the objectionable part in the concert video was about a man who is trying to win a woman. Jonghyun said it was not intention to make fun of a certain culture with his exaggerated acting in the concert video.
Jonghyun also came under fire for apparently refusing to spell out 'gay' or 'lesbian' or 'transgender' in his comments; instead using words like 'taste' and "that way". He has now said he did not want to sound disrespectful.
"Also, I want to talk about the comment I said, saying 'I respect their tastes, but I do not swing that way," he said..
"This is why I said 'that way' because I was not that direction, not because I could not use the words 'gay', 'homosexual', or 'sexual minority'. However, if 'that side' is used as a derogatory term somewhere in the world, it could be my fault for being ignorant," he explained.
Here's the full text of his apology:
The first show of my concert has ended. I have received a lot of feedback about my performance, and I want to apologize about the things talked about. I was told that in one of the videos in the concert, I had belittled a certain area and used it for humor, and many people of that region were unhappy.
That is clearly my fault, and I will delete it from the video. It is a fault that I have no excuse for, and I bow my head in apology to everyone who was disappointed by it. I did not mean to belittle the culture of a place that is rich in history.In the video, the story is that a woman who had no interest in me gets interested after listening to the song and seeing the choreography in the problematic video.
I did not mean to make fun of the culture, but it was part of how I was confident in all genres and concepts.
The comedic point was supposed to be my exaggerated acting, expressions, and gestures, and I did not mean to make fun of the culture.
The video also has a gangster-themed outfit, a prisoner outfit, a fishing outfit, a merman outfit, and the problematic outfit.
The music used are EDM and hiphop.
I disturbed many with my lacking thoughts, and I am regretting it and looking back on my actions.
I did not mean to make fun of the culture.
However, I cannot excuse myself for disturbing with that video, so I bow my head in apology.
As I said before, I will delete that video and replace it with another one.
Also, I want to talk about the comment I said, saying 'I respect their tastes, but I do not swing that way.'
I do not remember my exact words, but when I talked about that, I remember that I thought I should articulate exactly what I meant so there would be no problems, and used the words 'tastes' and 'that way' because of that.
'Tastes' means the tendency something according to its characteristics, and a person's characteristics is the nature of someone's heart.
Tendency means how a phenomenon, thought, or action tilts into one direction.
Therefore, 'tastes' can be written as 'the direction of a person's nature'.
This is why I said 'that way' because I was not that direction, not because I could not use the words 'gay', 'homosexual', or 'sexual minority'. However, if 'that side' is used as a derogatory term somewhere in the world, it could be my fault for being ignorant.
If that is the case, I apologize for this as well.
However, that comment's focus was not 'that side', but 'tendency'.
5-6 years ago, I used the words 'that hobby' and it became derogatory.
It was my fault that I expressed tendencies as hobbies.
It was something that happened in my early 20s, and I never used it in front of others after recognizing my faults.
Now, I know that it is used in many fandoms.
If someone who reads this understands that those words are demeaning, I hope they stop using it.
It was my fault for being more ignorant than now, and I want to correct my mistakes even if just a little.
He further added,
These words are something not conferred [with SM Ent] but completely my opinions.
It is a concert with my name, so I felt I should give my feedback first and foremost, and I will make sure I do not cause any more trouble in the upcoming performances.
If I did not use those words, I thought that sentence in my head, and it came out differently while I was talking. No matter what happened, I do not think the meaning changed.
My thoughts are the same. I know many people were looking forward to tomorrow's concert, and I'm sorry that many are coming to it with concerns...
This happened because I was lacking, but the reason why I apologized and edited my faults quickly is because I wanted to make tomorrow's performance perfect. Tomorrow, everyone, shout louder! I hope you can forget other things and have 2-3 hours pass by in a moment because you were so into the concert. Everyone, let's meet tomorrow in better condition.