Whether we are willing to admit it or not, history has left many lasting wounds...and while many of these wounds have healed with time, some remain tender to this day. When addressing these issues, respect and delicacy are paramount on both sides of the conversation; all the more so if you are a public figure or celebrity. Unfortunately, SNSD's Tiffany found this out the hard way when she unwittingly provoked the ire of Korea's netizens by posting a snapchat sticker reminiscent of Japan's imperial war flag on the eve of Korea's Liberation Day. This scandal has caused outrage in the Korean netizen community as cries for her exit from the Korean entertainment industry continues to grow. Why is this blunder such a big deal? Read on to find out.

On August 14, following the 'SM TOWN Live World Tour V’ concert in Japan, a few of Tiffany's social media posts have infuriated many Koreans. The first post that stirred Korea's netizens was a picture of Tiffany and friends having fun in Japan. While the photo itself seemed innocent enough, what caught the attention of the sharp eyed netizens was the emoji of the Japanese flag which Tiffany included on the tag of her post. Shortly after the picture was posted, Tiffany deleted it off her account once some fans warned her that the Japanese flag might provoke criticism due to the proximity to Korea's National Liberation Day, which was to follow the next day.

(Tiffany's Instagram)

However, perhaps an ill omen for the star, Tiffany's social media missteps continued on when she later posted a picture of her purse with a sticker reading 'Tokyo Japan' on her Snapchat account. As she was in Japan, this photo might seem harmless, however while the words themselves did not offend, the graphics behind them did. The backdrop of the sticker incorporated a design reminiscent of the Japanese Rising Sun Flag (a.k.a. "Hinomaru") used by Japan's imperial army and navy during its expansion prior to and during the Second World War. 

While the flag originally came into use during the Edo period by Japanese warlords between the 17th and 19th century, its use as the wartime flag of Japan during the Pacific conflict has made it a symbol of controversy, especially in China and Korea. 


(Tiffany's Snapchat)

This most likely unconscious mishap, coming at the worst time possible on the eve of Korea's celebration of the end of Japanese imperial rule, may have irrevocably altered the course of Tiffany's career in Korean entertainment as calls for her exit from the entertainment industry continues to grow.

Once Tiffany's Snapchat post was seen, especially on Korea's National Liberation Day, many Koreans were outraged stating: 

"Of all days, on national liberation day... I was just getting into her too with Unnis, had no idea she was this hopeless of a person. Please go promote in Japan or America.. I don't want to see you in Korea anymore."

"No matter if she's American or if she's in Japan right now, she's a singer working in Korea, how thoughtless of her."

"She's worked in Korea for over 10 years and she didn't know it was the national liberation day? How does that make any sense?"

"She's screwed, 10 years just down the drain."

Many online users claimed that Tiffany’s post was “a thoughtless act justifying Japanese colonial rule.”

After many angered fans commented on her account, Tiffany posted a picture of a hand written apology.

"On such a significant day, I am sorry that I made everyone worry with my mistake. In this situation, my oversight has disappointed many people and I feel ashamed of myself. I deeply regret what I did. In the future, I will work hard to take care of what I write and how I behave so something like this doesn't happen again, and to think carefully before acting. Once again, I apologize for my shortcomings and big mistake"

However, even after the seemingly sincere admission was posted, netizens refused the apology stating:

“Do you think a letter can solve everything?”

Netizens are now calling for the removal of Tiffany from the reality TV show "Unnies' Slam Dunk" and the producers are said to be considering the issue seriously. 

What are your thoughts on this scandal? Do you think the rage exhibited by the netizens is justified? Should Tiffany be removed from the Korean entertainment industry? Let us know what you think below!

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Cinderella and Four Knights

Starring Jung Il Woo and Park So Dam

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