The girls of AOA (에이오에이, aka Ace Of Angels) are receiving a lot of hate and being criticised for their lack of knowledge on general Korean history and for editing their latest music video, “Good Luck”.
On 10th May, members Seolhyun and Jimin appeared on OnStyle’s “Channel AOA” and they were given the task to fill in names corresponding to portraits of various historical figures. Out of the 5 figures, they were only able to answer 2 correctly.
What made netizens particularly shocked and angry was the fact that the pair didn’t know who Ahn Jung Geun was, an important Korean historical figure who fought for Korean independence during the Japanese colonial rule. One netizen commented, “How can these kids represent Korea. Their agencies should teach them Korean history before they teach them other languages”.
The controversy quickly became a hot topic in social media communities. Both Seolhyun and Jimin took to Instagram to apologise for their lack of knowledge.
“As a citizen of South Korea, I should have shown dignified behaviour regarding the history, but I had failed to do so, which made me realise many things, and I am self-reflecting. I am embarrassed regarding what happened, and I am feeling deeply apologetic toward the people who felt uncomfortable by it,” Seolhyun wrote on Instagram.
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안녕하세요. AOA 설현입니다. 지난 5월 3일 온스타일에서 방송된 채널AOA 프로그램에서 역사에 대한 저의 인식 부족으로 인해 불쾌감을 느끼신 모든 분께 진심으로 사과의 말씀을 드립니다. 대한민국 국민으로서 역사에 대해서 진중한 태도를 보였어야 했지만 그러지 못했던 점에 대해서 많은 것을 깨닫고 반성하고 있습니다. 이번 일과 관련해 부끄럽게 생각하고 있고, 또 불편을 느꼈을 분들에게 마음 속 깊이 죄송한 마음을 느끼고 있습니다. 그동안 제게 보내주신 말씀들을 마음에 잘 새겨놓고 앞으로 더욱 신중한 모습을 보여드릴 수 있도록 노력하겠습니다. 다시 한 번 깊이 사과드립니다.
Besides that, AOA’s latest music video for “Good Luck” was removed shortly from YouTube after its release on 16th May. A newer version was re-uploaded and many fans noticed that the Toyota logo in one scene was blurred out and they speculated that the edits were made to show sensitivity for the recent history controversy because Toyota is a Japanese car brand.
The idol group’s label, FNC Entertainment, responded to the rumours in an official statement, stating that showing the car brand in the original video wasn’t intentional.
“The vehicles, were merely borrowed due to the local situation and we had no intention to show the brand. If there are parts which are not well done, or are lacking, we will not hide them and will apologise for them accordingly. We hope that there will be no misunderstandings regarding the vehicles and brand product placement,” said the agency.
During the “Good Luck” showcase on 16th May, the AOA members apologised again for the recent controversies and things got very emotional.
“Firstly, this is the first time this kind of controversy has occurred. We want to say that we’re really sorry to everyone who felt uncomfortable. We’ll use this as a lesson to make sure that something like this won’t occur again. We’ll strive to show you an improved image of us, so please look kindly upon us. I’m sorry,” member ChoA said.
Don’t cry girls 🙁
Unfortunately, the history scandal is not over yet.
A netizen pointed out that the terms “Martyr Ahn Jung Geun” and “Ahn Jung Geun” were banned in the live chat room during the idol group’s V app album showcase. If the banned terms were typed in, an error message will pop up, saying, “Your message contains restricted phrases. Please try again after making a revision.”
Fans who came across the same situation suspected that FNC had purposely banned those terms from being used by anyone during the girl’s showcase.
This is not the first time that K-Pop idols have gotten themselves into trouble for something that they didn’t mean to do. Hopefully, after the girls’ sincere apology, netizens can leave the history controversy aside and look forward for a better AOA.
What’s your opinion on this whole situation? Do you think that Seolhyun and Jimin are wrong for not knowing their history? Let us know in the comments below!