K-pop star Sowon sparks controversy for posing next to a Nazi mannequin, issues apology later

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Feb 02, 2021, 02:22 PM IST


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K-pop star Sowon had posted the images of herself snuggling up to the Nazi-costumed dummy on her Instagram which faced severe criticism.

K-pop star Sowon's management team -Source Music- as apologised after the popular singer posted images of her posing next to a mannequin dressed as a Nazi soldier. Sowon is part of K-pop girl band GFriend. 

The 25-year-old singer had posted the images of herself snuggling up to the Nazi-costumed dummy on her Instagram which faced severe criticism. The series of photos have Sowon striking different poses next to the mannequin. In one pic she can be seen closing her eyes and putting her head on the mannequin's shoulder, while the other captures her touching its face and smiling. The photos were eventually deleted after receiving flak. 

“We deeply apologize for the fact that our artist GFriend’s behind-the-scenes video … and the photo uploaded by member Sowon caused controversy,” Source Music said in a statement posted to Weverse, Big Hit’s fan app.

The controversial photos were taken reportedly during November 2020 during a band video shoot in Paju, South Korea and even appeared in an official video which released in December. Source Music is part of Bg Hit Entertainment which handles boy band BTS. 

According to Source Music, the November shoot was run by “an outsourced production company” and staffers “did not sense an issue with the mannequin’s outfit."

“We apologize for not being able to confirm in advance that there were inappropriate props on the shooting site, not being able to thoroughly inspect the content during the shooting and uploading process, and not paying close attention to historical facts and social issues.”

The mannequin does not wear the easily recognizable red Nazi armband but instead is dressed in German military uniform dating back to Hitler's reign. 
Sowon, who has more than 800,000 Instagram followers, has not directly addressed the issue yet herself but Source Music said she was “very shocked” and “immediately” deleted her post “when she understood the significance of the image."

It is common practice for K-pop singers to issue apologies through their management.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time that a K-pop artist has stirred up Nazi-related controversy. In 2018, controversy erupted over a photo of a BTS band member wearing a hat featuring what appeared to be the Death’s Head logo of the Nazi S.S., who ran the deadly concentration camps.

Big Hit later had to express “sincere apologies” for “inadvertently inflicting pain and distress to anyone.”

Sowon is the oldest member GFriend which comprises of six women. The group debuted in 2015 and since then released four albums. The band's last release was in November 2020 called 'Walpurgis Night.'

Even though the post has been deleted, Sowon’s social media has been flooded with angry comments. Several have insisted for a direct apology from the singer and asked her to own up to her mistake. “Your company apologized, but where’s your apology? You’re an idol, own up to your mistakes," one follower wrote. 

Others have come out and spoken in her favour and slammed those who have sent her angry comments.