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OP-ED

[OP-ED] Is everyone overreacting to Tiffany's 'scandal'?

By GhostWriter   Thursday, August 18, 2016   169,163   13,293   0
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I'm a Korean American living in the United States and it saddens me to see people hating on Girls' Generation's Tiffany for a mistake she made. If you haven't been living under a rock, Tiffany has received flack for her recent social media controversy involving a Japanese flag emoticon and the "Rising Sun" Flag on the National Liberation Day of Korea.



If you don't know why it's a big deal, basically, the Japanese committed unmentionable atrocities against Koreans and Chinese under the image of the "Rising Sun" flag. To many Koreans, it's akin to the Swastika and Nazi Germany symbology to Jews. Let's just say it's a big no-no to post this if you're a Korean and even a bigger no-no to post it on the National Liberation Day of Korea. Tiffany, you done messed up! You got numerous media outlets throwing shade at Tiffany and netizens calling for her head but I think it's all a bit of an overreaction.




I was born in the States so I'm very Americanized. Honestly, I didn't even know that the Japanese "Rising Sun" flag was an offensive symbol until only a few years ago when the Korean Zombie in MMA called out Ronda Rousey for wearing a "Rising Sun" shirt. I knew about some Koreans harboring a deep hatred for the Japanese. I was reminded of that every time anything Japanese related would come on the TV and my grandpa was around, he would yell, "개새끼 일본놈들!" or roughly translated as, "Those son-of-a-bitch Japanese bastards!" He shared some of the awful things that the Japanese did when he was young. So I knew about that tension and hatred but not specifically about the "Rising Sun" flag. Tiffany was born and raised in California. Just like me, she could've been ignorant to the fact that the "Rising Sun" symbol was offensive. Me back in 2013, would've also posted that same Tokyo geofilter on Snapchat without thinking I was doing anything wrong.




Yes, she did mess up, but you and I know that she didn't mean to offend. Tiffany's from Cali and I see her as having a bit of Valley Girl in her, a little airheaded and some ditziness. I don't want to offend and I do see it sometimes when I watch her on video but I think it makes her more charming. Conducting actions before really thinking things through is what she's guilty of. So when she posted what she did, she did so without situational awareness but also and more importantly, without any malicious intent. I can forgive someone if they make a mistake, especially so when I know where their heart was when the mistake happened. Unfortunately, the media and netizens aren't as forgiving. 


I enjoy following stars on social media but all the scrutiny and overanalysis will drive more and more celebs off social media. Why should celebs share anything with fans when they're afraid that something they post with good intentions might blow up and cause a scandal? Overreaction will cause more and more celebs to go dark. This is why we can't have nice things.




I remember a story told by my father's friend when I was a young boy in elementary school. He told me how he emigrated to the United States in the 1970's and back then it wasn't the coolest thing to tell people you were Korean. South Korea was a poor country, perhaps even poorer than North Korea back then, while Japan was prospering. Because of this, even just a few decades after World War 2, the Japanese were seen in a more positive light than Koreans by Americans. Anyways, back to the story... My father's friend was at a job recruiting fair in the United States when he saw a familiar Korean face. He wasn't tight with the guy but they both had mutual acquaintances back in Korea. So he goes up to him and says Hi in Korean and the guy gives him a confused face. Things got awkward when the guy said he doesn't know what language he's speaking and that he's Japanese. "Japanese?!?" my father's friend exclaims and quickly rebutted, "No! You're Korean!" However, the man kept feigning to be Japanese as he thought that would give him a leg up for a potential job. What's the point of telling you this? The point is that some people were once so embarrassed to be Korean they claimed another heritage but is this the case now? No, Korea's economy is now a powerhouse. Take it a step further and the appeal is mostly thanks to Korea's soft power and Hallyu - stars like Tiffany providing a mass appeal to non-Koreans all across the globe. Why do people want to visit Korea? How do people abroad find out about Korea? It's now mostly through Korean music videos or Korean dramas. People abroad have connected most with the stars. I'm proud that Korea's economy rose up and is now part of the G-20 but I'm just as proud of Hallyu. It's now cool to be Korean and I know some Asians who pretended to be Korean to look cooler to people they met for the first time. 


We shouldn't be building up stars, just to see them fall. At the end of the day, we're human and we shouldn't lack compassion nor empathy. Yes, Tiffany deserves some backlash but I think there's an overreaction here. Each one, teach one, hopefully, Tiffany has learned her lesson.

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    yuune Friday, August 26, 2016

    Honestly a lot of people don't understand the full extent of the tensions between the asian countries, and it's really tiring when the same people say that all should be forgiven and that it's the 21st century and whatever. But what you need to know is that these are essentially years of historical tension. It's not just WW2, it's hundreds of more years than that. The Japanese have done unspeakable things not just to Korea, but counties like China as well, and not once apologised for it. There are textbooks purposely changed to suit their version of history, showering Japan in a golden light. The controversy surrounding Tiffany is not just because of how some anti-fans want shit done to her image, but is a very sensitive matter to all of Korea. While I understand she didn't do it intentionally, she should've been so much more careful, especially on a day like the National Liberation Day. This day shows the end of an excruciating 35 years of human experimentation, torture, oppression, abuse, and defilement of the Korean culture. (Just think of Korea being one big residential school or concentration camp with just slightly better living conditions)

    blahblahblahblah yuune Friday, August 26, 2016

    List of war apology statements issued by Japan
    https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan


    Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea
    https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Treaty_on_Basic_Relations_between_Japan_and_the_Republic_of_Korea

    Tragedy of Extreme Anti-Japanese Education in S.Korea
    https://amesho161616.wordpress. com/2014/02/27/tragedy-of-extreme-anti-japanese-education-in-s-korea/

    krell Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Related to TIFFANY and her personally choosing that offensive JAP FLAG emoticon. It surely is true that TIFFANY did do this. But, I would argue that it NEVER should have been allowed to take place. In that, *SMe Agency* should have employees who *screen* these SNS message postings PRIOR to them going PUBLIC on the SNSD member SNS websites. IF that type of situation was 'in place' with a SCREENING EMPLOYEE of SMe Agency involved, it is NOT LIKELY that this JAP FLAG emoticon mistake would have happened. And also, the *beauty* of that SCREENING EMPLOYEE situation, is that you can BLAME THE SCREENING EMPLOYEE (so *not* TIFFANY) for the mistake that was made. Which, if that is *deceptive* to do that; say 'scape goat' the *support staff employee* in that manner, it is also HIGHLY DESIRABLE to HAVE THAT *SCAPE GOAT* option available. And SNSD is *very* successful. The cost of screening SNSD member SNS traffic is *not* significant, relative to the MONEY AT RISK in PRESERVING the SOSHI BOND feeling with SNSD fans. So for me, this TIFFANY situation is also a FAILURE of SMe Agency from a *management* decision making standpoint. IF your K-pop Group is as *succesful* as say GIRL's DAY Group is. Then, to me, you *should* be SCREENING their SNS messages *before* they are posted on SNS public websites. You can JUSTIFY the money cost of it with NO PROBLEM (my view).

    Alexgp Thursday, August 25, 2016

    I thought tiffany grew up in Korea, i mean i know she was born and lived in the US, but not that long so that she would be a total stranger to Korean society and dos and donts..

    Sone198 Alexgp Saturday, December 17, 2016

    Actually she came to Korea when she turned fifteen and she trained hard for many years and focused only on her career even after she debuted and idols don't really have a lot of time on their hands so of course she was never spending her time with a history book finding out about what happened between Japan and Korea, it's not really her fault. It could've been anyone because unless you're raised in Korea, it's unlikely that you'd know about this stuff. I didn't even know about all this until her scandal.

    geekherd Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    I just wanna say this. She is working in korea and working around koreans daily. For he not to know about the imperial flag is bullshit.

    kookiemonster901 geekherd Thursday, August 25, 2016

    FYI they don't go on bullshits about those flags cos they're busy training, practicing to perform in front of stage and not to know about these things. She still isn't even fluent in Korean and you're expecting that she would know about this?

    yuune kookiemonster901 Friday, August 26, 2016

    I'm pretty sure she went to school in Korea. She's probably now lived in Korea longer than she has in the States if not close to it. If living in Korea, shit like this is just common sense among the people, EVEN IF you're a so-called "foreigner". What's really bullshit, is when people claim she doesn't know this.

    Faithvorite yuune Saturday, October 22, 2016

    actually tiffany graduated from my highschool. I doubt she got much secondary education while training in Korea.

    Sone198 geekherd Saturday, December 17, 2016

    Lol that's ridiculous. When she's with a Korean person they don't suddenly start talking about the history of Japan and Korea. And how would you know anyways? From what I've seen, she often discusses music or her career when involved with a conversation at work (I literally only know this through what she and other people say on shows). Or food or other everyday conversation topics. I doubt she'd go to work one day and her friends would decide to discuss or teach her about the Rising Sun flag. Do you often discuss history with your friends? It's unlikely for people- especially idols- to suddenly start discussing things like that.

    Sone198 yuune Saturday, December 17, 2016

    She herself apologised for not taking the time to learn this. Do you seriously think she'd know this and still post that flag, knowing that it'd drive people crazy and damage her career? Where's the common sense in that? People like you are basically claiming "She intentionally scarred her career and image straight after going solo, knowing that she'd be punished severely".

    yuune Sone198 Saturday, December 17, 2016

    Lol I don't even know how the fuck you came to the conclusion that I was "claiming" that she "intentionally ruined her career". It's obvious that she posted the flag without realising/thinking about the consequences. I'm saying that if she had any common sense in the first place, or thought through her actions a little bit, then this wouldn't have happened.

    yuune Sone198 Saturday, December 17, 2016

    Hey there, you probably aren't Korean or even close to being one other than being borderline koreaboo, but the rising sun flag and other relations/controversies with Japan is often brought up in Korean society. Not to mention SM is a big house within the Korean entertainment industry and it's really, highly unlikely that Tiffany hasn't been told of this issue in one form or another. It's an honest mistake, but it was a really stupid one on her part.

    idolene Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    See what did I say (Here is a new one just today Uhm Tae Woong ) What is going on I just watched him in Wanted I like his shows . But this is all crap just like with her someone say something and shit hits the fan.  Just keep your nose clean and keep doing what you are doing

    Kick_and_Kick Monday, August 22, 2016

    LED and LIAD.

    Coolcrush Monday, August 22, 2016

    either way, it's not my place to take a side.

    CHRISTINAMR Monday, August 22, 2016

    Even if it is OP-ED, it is more objective and well written than some of news article of AllKpop, especially the one written by Sassygrrl. Thank you !!! You should keep this writer Allkpop

    BigBlueagain Monday, August 22, 2016



    beashineeshawol Sunday, August 21, 2016

    Usually these OP-EDs aren't that great but I got to give props to this writer. She (or he) was on point! When I found she got kicked off of Unnies, I thought she had done something horrible and it turns out that it was just another Rising Sun controversy. I do think what she did was really offensive but people are definitely overreacting. She clearly had no malicious intent.

    CHRISTINAMR beashineeshawol Monday, August 22, 2016

    Ture this OP-ED is more well written even than some news article of AllKpop

    Daphnne beashineeshawol Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Im a fan of tiffany but i also grew up listening to war stories about how the Japanese abused our people. Tiffany apologized but to be very honest, I dont know what she is apologizing for? For posting the rising sun flag ? For celebrating about her concert in SM? For offending the koreans? for what ?? I dont see her sincerity. I still love and support her but I just think she should have handled the apology better. Hitting you and saying "Im sorry" just doesnt seem sincere. Hitting you and then saying " Im sorry I hit you" that sounds more sincere right? Just my thoughts.

    beashineeshawol Daphnne Friday, August 26, 2016

    I see what you mean. But if someone just hit me and then they say "I'm sorry" the reason is implied. I can't remember an instance where someone stepped on my foot and then said, "Sorry for stepping on your foot," because that would be overkill. I know where I was hurting and so do they. I haven't read her apology so I can't judge her sincerity. I'm just saying that it's highly doubtful that she had malicious intent when she first posted but people are treating her as if she hates Korea and was happy for all the atrocities that happened to Koreans under Japanese rule and that's just not the case.

    Daphnne beashineeshawol Monday, September 19, 2016

    Im sorry i didnt phrase it correctly, I meant, I hit you and your mom came to scold me and I just said "Im sorry" its like, am I sorry i hit u or am I sorry i hit you because ur mom is scolding me now. If you read her first apology it is pretty insincere, i think the first post wasnt that much hate , but after the "half-assed" apology it made people more upset because japan has been giving these insincere , mildly vague apology for the war up until now .... so it triggered something in them when she also vaguely decided to apologies hastily and play it off. It hurts one time and it hurts the second time. She doesnt deserve the hate but her apology could have been better. She apologized a second time and if you read the two apology, you'd know what I meant. if her 2nd apology has been her first one, none of the hate would have spread like wildfire.

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