Chaeyoung, a member of Twice, one of the most popular K-Pop girl groups in South Korea, is under fire for posting a photo of her wearing a t-shirt with a swastika symbol on her Instagram account. Online spectators were quick to point out the Nazi symbol on her t-shirt and claimed that her stylist did not recognize the history attached to the clothing.
Chaeyoung, 23, has since deleted the post and shared an apology on Instagram Tuesday saying that she didn't realize what the symbol was. This comes just days after the K-pop singer was spotted singing on the South Korean music television program "Show! Music Core" while wearing a QAnon shirt.
Quick and Unconditional Apology
The K-pop girl group member recently shared a photo of herself wearing a T-shirt with the image of Sex Pistols bassists Sid Vicious sporting a swastika, which is a symbol linked with Adolf Hitler and the German Nazi party.
Fans soon pointed out the Nazi symbol and slammed Chaeyoung. The photo has since been deleted, with Chaeyoung posting an apology to her more than 8 million followers on Instagram.
"Hello, this is Chaeyoung from TWICE," read the apology, written in both Korean and English.
"I sincerely apologize regarding the Instagram post. I didn't correctly recognize the meaning of the tilted swastika in the t-shirt I wore.
"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." The apology was also posted on Twice's official Twitter account, which has more than 11 million followers.
Chaeyoung's latest controversy comes just days after she was accused of performing with Twice on MBC's "Show! Music Core" on Saturday while sporting a shirt with QAnon imagery.
The outfit comprised a cropped shirt with an American flag filled inside the word "Q." The top half of the shirt was cut out, but the bottom had the phrase "We go all" visible.
The tagline and logo refer to the far-right political movement, which sprouted in 2017 and is notorious for disseminating graphic conspiracy theories in support of the late President Donald Trump.
Supporters of the group have said that Chaeyoung probably had no idea what the controversial insignia meant when she wore them, and instead blame her stylists for failing to understand the significance of the garments.
However, reactions from fans were mixed, with some accepting Chaeyoung's apology and others charging Twice fans with trying to "cover up" the singer's conduct.
"I'm tired of K-pop fans because why am I seeing people trying to cover up the fact that Chaeyoung posted a photo of herself wearing a shirt with a swastika on it TODAY," wrote one Twitter user.
"As a Jewish person, I feel very weird. This is easily one of the most recognized hate symbols in the world and WW2 is taught at schools." wrote another person.
"I'm disappointed, that's all I can say," yet another person replied.
Some people were more understanding and applauded Chaeyoung for admitting what she did was incorrect. "Chaeyoung, thank you for your apology and admitting mistakes," wrote one person. "Let's be more careful in the future, we love you."
"Thank you for apologizing and acknowledging your mistake!" wrote another fan.
The timing of this setback could not be worse given that the group has been growing in popularity in English markets. The release of Twice's 12th mini-album, "Ready to Be," which debuted at No. 2 between Miley Cyrus' "Endless Summer Vacation" and Morgan Wallen's "One Thing at a Time," recently propelled them to the top of the Billboard 200.
Their second English-language hit, "Moonlight Sunrise," which peaked at No. 84 on the Hot 100, is among the seven songs on the album.