Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 66

KOREAN POPULAR CULTURE AND HISTORICAL SENSIBILITIES IN EAST ASIA “Park Jin-young is the worst. He forced her to apologize to make profits ... What’s wrong with a person from Taiwan to hold a Taiwanese flag? Answer, JYP!!” (Stone Rock, 돌바위 , 471 likes, 20 dislikes). “Huang An was the problem, but I was more disappointed by JYP. 16-year-old Tzuyu did nothing wrong at all. Despite this, JYP forces her to apologize because he is concerned about restrictions on his business by China” (A Mole Goes, 두더지가간다 , 383 likes, 17 dislikes). “Why did Tzuyu have to apologize when she did not wave the flag in China? The one that forced her to do this is deplorable” (Angel, 천사 , 129 likes, 3 dislikes). “JYP is responsible for protecting minors. JYP’s action cannot be accepted” (Sharwhina, 샤르휘나 , 145 likes, 5 dislikes). “I am not interested in Huang An. I am frustrated with the JYP’s handling of this issue. Cheer up, Tzuyu ... I began to support you through this incident” (Toward the Pinnacle, 정상을향해 , 35 likes, 1 dislike). Apology is “a truthful expression of remorse and includes the unreserved acceptance of moral responsibility for an act while also paying tribute to the perspective of the victim” (Daase et al. 2015:14). To many in South Korea, Chou’s act of holding her nation’s flag is nothing to be reprehended, an act which she did not have to apologize for. Moreover, given that the status of the apologizer matters (Daase et al. 2015:12), to Korean netizens, the head of JYP Entertainment, not the 16-year-old girl, had to apologize for the controversy caused. 15 JYP Entertainment is one of South Korea’s major cultural enterprises, pioneering the hallyu boom in Asia and other regions. Park Jin-young, or J. Y. Park, established the company in his name in 1997. Park himself is a cultural artist who developed his music career as a singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. He also famously served as one of the three judges of the music audition program called, “K-Pop Star,” aired by SBS. 16 His principles of how to sing, such as using “half air and half sound” as a method of abdominal breathing and “sing as you tell a story,” have become well known among South Koreans. The company produced popular hallyu bands, including Wonder Girls, 2PM, 2AM, miss A, and GOT7. Twice is not the only band that includes foreign members. A girl-band composed of four girls, miss A, includes Wang Feifei, who is originally from China. Korean netizens’ overwhelming criticism of JYP Entertainment demonstrates that an ap- 15 Issuing an appropriate and acceptable apology is one of the key aspects of resolving conflicts in the East Asian context. See Dudden (2008) for the centrality of political apology in East Asian international relations. 16 SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) is a South Korean national television and radio network. 65