This week has been hell for Stephanie Young Hwang, the K-pop idol better known by her stage name, Tiffany. The So Nyeo Shi Dae (SNSD) or Girls’ Generation member is suffering the consequences of posting up Japanese flags on her Instagram and Snapchat. To be fair, their use would make sense given that she was part at the SM TOWN Live World Tour V at the Tokyo Dome with the rest of Girls’ Generation and other SM Entertainment musical acts. Unfortunately, Tiffany used the Japanese flags a day before Korea’s National Liberation Day, a day celebrating Korea’s freedom from Japanese rule during World War II.
As a result, many South Koreans found Tiffany’s use of the Japanese flags to be insensitive even if her intentions were not to cause strife. To prevent any more damage, Tiffany wrote a handwritten, lengthy apology and uploaded it to her Instagram. Unfortunately, the damage has been done, and Tiffany is suffering for it by being put on blast by a news anchor and being forcibly removed from Unnies’ Slam Dunk.
Starting with the news anchor putting Tiffany on blast, it happened during the August 17 broadcast of Maeil Broadcasting Network (MBN) news show, News Fighter. According to Soompi, one of the show’s anchors, Kim Myung Joon, did not hide his opinions about Tiffany’s Japanese flag controversy, bringing her up in a sarcastic way that was meant to demean her.
“How did you enjoy the special National Liberation Day films that were aired on television? First up, National Liberation Day special film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You’re asking when did Breakfast at Tiffany’s air on television? It did air. [I’m talking about] the rising sun flag controversy that Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany caused on the morning of Liberation Day. She gifted us a truly upsetting morning.”
Kim Myung Joon even went as far as to bring up Tiffany in other news he reported on, specifically South Korea losing to Japan in the semifinals of the women’s doubles in badminton at the 2016 Olympics. He “congratulated” Tiffany, insinuating she was supporting the Japanese women’s badminton team over South Korea’s women’s badminton team, an insinuation Kim Myung Joon is unapologetic about.
Being publicly shamed on television is a situation both Tiffany and most likely her label, SM Entertainment, were hoping would not happen. But now it is more than likely the entire country of South Korea knows what she did, Tiffany and SM Entertainment will have no choice but to weigh in on the people’s outrage on the matter.
Case in point, Korean netizens’ demands for Tiffany’s forcible removal from Unnies’ Slam Dunk (also known as Sister’s Slam Dunk) have followed through, as reported by Soompi. The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) released a statement on Tiffany’s leave from Unnies’ Slam Dunk.
“The producers and Tiffany’s agency SM Entertainment discussed her recent issue involving the Rising Sun Flag on the National Liberation Day of Korea on August 15. After meeting, we agreed the controversy affected citizen sentiment and decided on Tiffany’s leave from the show.”
The producers of Unnies’ Slam Dunk also revealed that the remaining members on the show — Kim Sook, Jessi, Ra Mi Ran, Min Hyo Rin, and Hong Jin Kyung — would continue as a five-member group. They also made it known no additional cast member will be added to replace Tiffany.
At this moment, we do not know how much Tiffany will suffer for her Japanese flag controversy. We can only hope that Koreans are now satisfied with the sufferings the Girls’ Generation member endured even after she apologized. If not, we might see worse happen to Tiffany, ranging from the ending of her solo music career to possibly being let removed from Girls’ Generation and let go from SM Entertainment.
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Photo]