(Seoul) K-pop star Sowon, a member of ” girls band South Korean GFriend apologized after posting photos where she is seen hugging a window mannequin wearing a WWII German military uniform.
In one of these pictures taken in a themed cafe in Paju, north of Seoul, she appears tenderly stroking the face of this model with a smile.
She drew a deluge of criticism as soon as she posted these photos on social networks this weekend.
“Avoiding this type of situation is however not difficult”, railed a user. “There are topics that cannot be ignored. “
The star’s communication agency explained for its part that the latter had “not realized the problem posed by the model’s uniform”.
“We apologize for not paying enough attention to historical and social issues,” Source Music said in a statement. “We bow to all those who may have felt offended by our content. “
Founded in 2015, GFriend has released three albums and enjoyed continued success, despite the fierce competition between K-pop groups.
Sowon, frontman of the group, deleted the photos “as soon as she understood the implications” and feels “a heavy responsibility”.
The owner of the café, a military history buff who refused to let his identity be revealed, explained that the uniform in question was that of a “second lieutenant of an armored unit of the German army during the Second World War “.
This exhibition “is not intended to be in the glory of National Socialism,” he added, but is part of his research for a book on the history of military uniforms.
“I also have mannequins dressed in the uniforms of the Allied forces during World War II, including an American uniform and one British. “
Knowledge of the atrocities committed during WWII in Europe is sometimes limited in Asia, where Nazi symbols may have been displayed in complete ignorance of what they stood for.
Source is a subsidiary of Big Hit Entertainment, the agency that manages BTS, a boys band to planetary success which itself was embroiled in controversies involving Nazi symbols.
In 2018, Big Hit Entertainment also apologized after a controversy that arose in the lucrative Japanese market over a t-shirt worn by one of the singers and showing a nuclear explosion.
As the controversy escalated, footage from a 2017 concert had emerged, showing the boys from BTS in uniform and waving flags that their critics said recalled Nazi symbols. Photos from 2014 had also appeared, showing the leader RM wearing a cap with an SS skull.