Fans of K-pop girl band GFriend were left outraged after one of their members posted a picture of herself to Instagram posing with a mannequin clothed in a nazi uniform.
Sowon is a regular poster to Instagram and has a whopping 817,000 followers, but many were repulsed after a certain picture emerged recently.
One photo portrayed the singer grasping the face of a mannequin and gazing up at it cheerfully. A second photo showed Sowon with her arm around the mannequin as she rested her head on it.
The problem is that the mannequin was decked out in a nazi military uniform from World War 2.
Sowon very quickly deleted the image after a backlash started gathering momentum, and it became clear that fans were upset.
At the same time, it’s also been reported that fellow band member SinB has been calling Sowon ‘Kitler’. She has even saved Sowon’s number on her phone as Kitler. This is a play on Sowon’s real name, Kim Sojung and Hitler.
The photo was taken at a cafe in Paju, South Korea, during an event for GFriend’s comeback show, which revolves around their latest album Walpurgis Night. The mannequin was reportedly behind the scenes.
Source Music say Sowon and GFriend didn’t understand meaning of nazi uniform
GFriend’s production company Source Music quickly released a statement where they apologized “for causing controversy.” They said that an outsourdced production company had rented the cafe and that staff “did not recognize that there was a problem with the mannequin’s attire.”
They further apologized for not inspecting the site properly and for “not paying close attention to historical facts and social issues.”
Source Music also added that Sowon had been very surprised “when realizing the meaning of the photo and deleted it immediately.” They concluded by saying, “we deeply apologize to those who have been hurt by the video and photos.”
Fans expressed outrage with Sowon and GFriend on Twitter
Fans took to Twitter to register their disappointment with Sowon and GFriend.
One fan said they were “especially” disappointed in Sowon.
Another fan said they wanted an apology from SinB and Sowon and from the band as a whole. “In the end of the day, this cannot be excused,” they added.
Some fans argued that Sowon had made a dreadful error but that the band and Sowon herself did not deserve the strength of criticism that was directed at them.
GFriend was first formed in 2015 but has spent most of 2020 organizing their comeback. As well as SinB and Sowon, the other band members are Yerin, Eunha, Yuju, and Umji.
In 2019, the band’s production company Source Music was acquired by Big Hit Entertainment, which was the agency responsible for the super successful BTS.