Big Hit Personally Apologizes To Atomic Bomb Victims Association In Korea
On November 16, Big Hit Entertainment gave an official apology to atomic bomb victims from Hapcheon, South Gyeongsang Province in Korea.
70 percent of Korean atomic bomb victims hailed from Hapcheon and many survivors of the atomic bomb settled in this county after returning from Hiroshima following the war. Due to this, Hapcheon has been called “the Hiroshima of Korea.”
Big Hit’s operations representative Lee Jin Hyung visited the Hapcheon Atomic Bomb Museum at 1 p.m. KST this day and held a private meeting with around 10 officials from the Korea Atomic Bombs Victim Association to apologize.
During the private discussion, Lee Jin Hyung reportedly stated, “Because there was a high chance that the victims were hurt [by the incident], we thought that it was our duty to personally contact them. Although it wasn’t our intention, if there were any victims hurt by the [t-shirt], we deeply apologize.”
The operations representative continued, “This isn’t a meeting intended for the media, but one that was held to meet the association and victims in person.”
Following the private meeting, the association gave an official statement by saying, “The atomic bomb victims understand and sympathize with the series of events.”
Association leader Lee Gyu Yeol commented, “After making an issue out of the BTS member’s shirt depicting an atomic bombing, Japan — the war crime perpetuators — are cosplaying as if they were the only country in the world affected by atomic bombs, rather than apologizing.”
He continued, “I can’t hide my astonishment at how some of the thoughtless Japanese media with no sense of history are trying to halt BTS’s broadcast appearances, showing their hypocritical attitude, instead of trying to construct a public sentiment where [its citizens] can reflect over their country’s history of aggression.”
He also added, “Instead of thinking that we achieved independence due to the atomic bomb, I’d like if we all thought about the inhumane nature of atomic bombs. I hope Japanese authorities and media do not mislead or distort public sentiment and refrain from interfering with BTS’s innocent activities.”
He concluded, “[They] should also refrain from using the apology from BTS’s agency to encourage anti-Korean public sentiments.”
Previously, Big Hit Entertainment had released an official statement about the controversies surrounding BTS. They gave explanations for various clothing items worn by members in the past that included imagery of an atomic bomb and a Nazi symbol, and stated that they would apologize to both atomic bomb victim associations in Japan and Korea and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
On November 13, the Simon Wiesenthal Center “welcomed” Big Hit’s official apology on their official website.