Tzuyu Of TWICE Becomes More Popular After Taiwanese Flag Controversy, Causing Salary Increase
Back in November of 2015, Choi Tzu Yu — better known by her K-pop idol name of Tzuyu — did one simple thing that would lead to a controversy that had monumental effects for her, her label JYP Entertainment, and the country of China. While appearing on Korean variety show My Little Television alongside her fellow group mates of TWICE, Tzuyu introduced herself as Taiwanese while waving the flag of the Republic of China (used only in Taiwan and other islands under control of the Republic of China). Chinese singer Huang An saw the show and took Tzuyu’s introduction as a show of support for Taiwanese independence. He took to his Weibo account to accuse Tzuyu of such.
That one social media act by Huang An caused multiple situations to happen back-to-back. First off, Chinese netizens, upset by Tzuyu’s supposed support for Taiwanese independence, turned on her and TWICE, boycotting the K-pop idol group’s music. Second, many Chinese companies that had CF contracts with TWICE cancelled them. Third, media sites removed all of TWICE’s content, including music videos and songs. Fourth, any broadcast appearances TWICE made in China were edited out, while future appearances were cancelled. Finally, all artists under TWICE’s label, JYP Entertainment, were suddenly banned from China, too.
The situation was getting way out of hand not just for Tzuyu and TWICE, but also for JYP Entertainment. As a result, JYP Entertainment president, Park Jin Young, apologized to Chinese media through his Weibo account. This was followed by a video, in which Tzuyu apologized for the controversy she caused (video attached above). Both of them did get some backlash for their apologies, but it did save both TWICE and JYP Entertainment from further damage. Also, Tzuyu’s apology had a direct effect on the 2016 Taiwanese general election, in which Tsai Ing Wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won by a wide margin.
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Over the course of four months, Tzuyu has experienced more as a member of TWICE than what most K-pop idols experience throughout their entire careers. Though some argue such an experience is good for Tzuyu given she is a K-pop idol, many agree she shouldn’t have gone through such an ordeal, especially when people find out she’s just 16-years-old. In a twist of fate, Tzuyu’s popularity skyrocketed. JYP Entertainment recognized this and, in turn, will increase Tzuyu’s salary.According to Korean news outlet Yonhap, translated through KpopStarz, Tzuyu is expected to earn in excess of $1.6 million USD she’s already earned in her career so far. It is well-deserved because, as mentioned earlier, Tzuyu’s popularity skyrocketed, whether she be famous or infamous. Not only that, Tzuyu handled herself as best as she could in the face of controversy. JYP Entertainment sees that as a sign that Tzuyu will be a huge star for their label, as detailed in a statement they gave to Shanghaiist.
“She has not planned for the sudden surge in fame, but if she could weather this storm, she will be on the way to becoming a shining star.”
Eventually, the mainland Chinese state claimed Tzuyu did nothing wrong. They declared that a Taiwanese person waving a Taiwanese flag is within the realm of the current political relationship between the People’s Republic of China (mainland) and the Republic of China (Taiwan). They also said Tzuyu does not appear to be promoting independence. Ultimately, the only one to suffer the consequences of this controversy in the end was Huang An, who jumped the gun in his accusation.
[Image via Screen Capture of Like OHH-AHH]