Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 64

ARTS & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS presidential election, making the dormant sentiment of Taiwan’s majority that they con- sidered themselves Taiwanese visible above the surface. 14 The next section will investi- gate the reactions to the Tzuyu Incident in South Korean society. Reactions in South Korea Koreans ended up joining the Taiwanese in rebuking JYP Entertainment, despite the centrality of hallyu in their lives. South Korea’s news and social media widely covered the Tzuyu Incident. One of the news articles posted on 17 January 2016 on Daum, the country’s one of the most popular news portals, was “The Spread of the ‘Tzuyu Issue’ in Taiwan: 10,000 People Willing to Participate in an Anti-Huang An Protest” by Yon- hap News. By 19:21 (South Korean Time) on 17 January 2016, 1,185 Korean netizens had responded to the comment that Tzuyu’s apology video resembled an ISIS hostage video. Comments from Korean netizens massively supported Tzuyu. A dominant stream of reactions was that she should not have had to apologize at all, as the following examples show. To Korean netizens, Tzuyu had been coerced into doing so: “Poor Tzuyu. Don’t use her any more!!” (Uni, 어니, 644 likes, 11 dis- likes) “Cheer up, Tzuyu!” (Let’s Cheer Up, 힘을 내자, 550 likes, 12 dislikes) “Why does she have to read a text of apology when there is nothing wrong with holding a flag of her birthplace? I am so sorry. I can’t imag- ine how distressed she was when she was reading the apology text. Cheer up! Tzuyu!” (Ginger Cookie, 생강쿠키, 54 likes, 1 dislike) “I am so sorry to Tzuyu as a Korean person. JYP should have made an official apology. Tzuyu did nothing wrong. She was used simply for business” (moon, 37 likes 4 dislikes). Netizens felt that Tzuyu was simply instructed to hold the ROC flag to show that the members of Twice came from different places outside of South Korea. Netizens were frustrated with and saddened by the circumstances that put her in such a difficult situ- ation and led to her innocent act. For this reason, another wave of comments criticized and registered disappointment with JYP Entertainment. For example: 14 Steven Phillips notes: “Whether one supports unifying with the mainland, maintaining the current status of the ROC on Taiwan, or becoming an internationally recognized sovereignty, that stance is entangled with the question of whether one identifies oneself as Taiwanese, Chinese, or both” (2006:59). For more information on the historical relationship between China and Taiwan and the struggles between mainlanders and islanders in Taiwan, see Chen (2013), Chu (2000), Hughes (1997), and Lin (2016). 64