Stray Kids' Han is under fire for racist and ableist slurs in a past rap song.
Netizens recently discovered a rap track written by Han when he was 13 years of age, and they're expressing disappointment with the content of his lyrics. In a sound clip spreading on Twitter, Han's alleged rap lyrics state, "Are you a kkamdoongie foreign laborer, you motherf***ing pig bird," and he also refers to mental hospitals and mental heath patients in an offensive way.
The term "kkamdoongie" is known as a pejorative against people with darker skin, and netizens are stating he was referring to Southeast Asians due to a history of people from Southeast Asia traveling to South Korea for employment involving manual labor. The rap was uploaded to YouTube by Han before his official debut and has since been deleted, but netizens later re-posted the clip on Twitter.
Han has now responded to the reports with the handwritten letter below:
"Hello, I'm Han from Stray Kids.
Firstly, the lyrics I wrote around 2013 when I was 13 have become controversial, and they're causing great concern to fans and many others. It's my fault, and I have no right to explain. I'm truly sorry.
I wrote ignorant lyrics during my immature days because I wanted to rap. I apologize for hurting a lot of people because of the lyrics I wrote without thinking.
Through this incident, I read through the opinions left by many people, looked back on my past lyrics, and thought a lot about them.
I chose to be a singer to express myself through music and empathize with more people, but I'm only ashamed of myself for writing these lyrics in the past.
I know it's not an act that can be forgiven just because I was young, so I'll reflect on myself and repent more.
I'll always cherish the importance of love and support from so many fans at home and abroad, and I'll be a person who stands on the stage with responsibility.
Once again, I sincerely apologize to all the people who've been hurt by my past actions. I'm sorry."