The said post was uploaded on Monday (15th August) and it features the idol star posing along with Sooyoung and Yuri at SM Town’s Tokyo show. In her caption, she wrote, “Babes ??❤️”. She has since removed the controversial caption.
So why so much hate for using a harmless emoji?
Just in case you didn’t know, 15th August, also known as Liberation Day, marks the liberation of Korea from Japanese imperial rule in 1945 after the end of World War II. So the flag, which symbolises the Japanese empire, serves as a painful reminder of the cruelty of the Japanese rule over Korea.
The situation worsened after fans saw the symbol again on her Snapchat.
In response to the controversy, the “I Just Wanna Dance” singer took to Instagram to issue an apology. She posted a picture of a hand-written note that reads (translation):
“Hello, this is Tiffany. I apologise for causing concern to many people due to my mistake on such a cherished, meaningful day. I’m embarrassed at myself for disappointing people through this mistake, and I’m reflecting on my action. From now on, I’ll make sure to remember that a lot of people are watching my actions and seeing my words, so I’ll work hard to become a person who thinks deeply so something like this does not happen again. Once again, I’m sorry for disappointing people because I was lacking.”
But Korean netizens are not that forgiving as many demanded that Tiffany leave “Unnies’ Slam Dunk”, a variety show that also stars Min Hyo Rin and rapper Jessie.
From the look of things, Tiffany might just be another victim of bad timing. As the saying goes, “It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s bad timing”.