Consider this a safe space and-or quarantine area for all discussion on Taiwanese/Chinese political revolutionary/unrepentant traitor Tzuyu and the hugely dumb but inevitable controversy surrounding Tzuyu’s TWICE profile labeling her nationality as Taiwanese.
To recap, JYP Entertainment has pretty much done everything outside of personally vowing to fuck a Chinese flag to try and placate those who are Actually Upset about the (likely entirely non-political) national identification of a sixteen year-old. The label issued an apology, suspended Tzuyu’s activities in China, had JYP himself release a separate apology and filmed a personal apology from Tzuyu that looks like it was taken as a part of some low budget hostage crisis movie.
Of course, despite the multitude of apologies for an unintended non-offense, critics have unsurprisingly not been won over by any of them but especially Tzuyu’s because, well, the girl looked damn terrified and didn’t call on Taiwan to subjugate itself to the glorious mainland or something. JYP Entertainment recently decided to issue another quasi-apology/clarification for Tzuyu’s earlier apology-clarification after critics claimed that the label forced Tzuyu to release her own statement on the overblown matter.
We are releasing our stance on misconceptions about TWICE’s Tzuyu’s apology.
Because Tzuyu is underage, we talked with her parents from the beginning about what to do, and we waited until Tzuyu’s parents were in Korea.
The label cannot and should not force an individual to think a certain way, and this never happened. Tzuyu’s parents came to Korea, talked to Tzuyu, made the decisions, and handled the apology.
As Tzuyu is still working hard, Tzuyu and Tzuyu’s parents want this situation to be resolved quickly, and they hope that everyone will support Tzuyu.
While one can hardly fault JYP Entertainment for going into full-blown damage control now, the problem lies in the label’s decision to issue multiple apologies in the first place as it gives the impression that there is actually something to apologize for in this whole mess of Chinese-Taiwanese identity politics that was totally not the point of Tzuyu’s official bio. It is why the label’s initial apology was actually pretty good as it made sure to remind people that Tzuyu hadn’t actually said or done anything to warrant the blowback that she received from Chinese netizens. Unfortunately, each subsequent apology has only served to undermine that point, from JYP’s lamentations that “me and my company are at fault for not teaching her well in place of her parents” to Tzuyu’s comments that “I am very, very apologetic and guilty.”
So, yeah. The apologies were never going to work and they may have actually made the whole situation worse (Poor Tzuyu’s understandably stiff recitation of her apology has, of course, led some people to view the entire thing as an insincere act). The whole matter has now taken on a life of its own and it will likely be a while before things return to normal for Tzuyu and TWICE (which is honestly a big deal because TWICE, despite the relative strength of their debut single, is still an unestablished new group at the end of the day).
The most regrettable thing about this whole ordeal is that, if any company should have been able to foresee and prevent this exact thing from happening, it’s JYP Entertainment. The label has made overseas promotions and multi-culturalism a pillar of its business model, from the Wonder Girls’ early foolhardy attempt to break into the American marketplace to the ethnic diversity of miss A, Got7 and TWICE. The only lesson to take away from this is that it’s probably very stupid to try and reason with a netizen outrage machine that will only see attempts to address their perceived grievances as vindication of their views.
*I promise that I will review Stellar’s music video this week. Just didn’t have the time today and this Tzuyu post ended up being twice as long as I had originally intended.