SHINee’s Jonghyun addresses his offensive interpretation of Indian culture + comment on homosexuality

AJ Lee, Dec. 5, 2016, 9:05 a.m.

SHINee’s Jonghyun recently found himself at the center of criticism for his recent offensive video played at his solo concert, where he was seen dressed as a man from India. The singer also received negative feedback for his comment on homosexuality, which was made during his concert.

In one segment of the video played at his concert, Jonghyun was seen dressed as someone from India, speaking in a nonsense language meant to be interpreted as the language of said country’s people. The singer was seen acting in a ridiculous way, which was supposed to be taken in a humorous light. In addition, the SHINee member also allegedly made an offensive comment on homosexuality, further offending fans.

The singer decided to take it to Twitter to explain his stance and apologize for his offensive actions:

The first show of my concert has come to an end. I’ve received a lot of feedback about my performance, and I want to apologize about the things talked about. I was told that in one of the videos in the concert, I had belittled a certain ethnicity and used it for humor, and many people of that region were unhappy. That’s clearly my fault, and I will delete it from the video. It is a fault that I have no excuse for, and I bow my head in apology to everyone who was disappointed by it. I did not mean to belittle the culture of a place that is rich in history. In the video, the story is that of a woman who had no interest in me who gets interested after listening to the song and seeing the choreography in the problematic video.  I did not mean to make fun of the culture, but it was a part of how I was confident in all genres and concepts. The comedic point was supposed to be my exaggerated acting, expressions, and gestures, and I did not mean to make fun of the culture. The video also has a gangster-themed outfit, a prisoner outfit, a fishing outfit, a merman outfit, and the problematic outfit. The music used are EDM and hiphop. I disturbed many with my lacking thoughts, and I am regretting it and looking back on my actions. I did not mean to make fun of the culture. However, I cannot excuse myself for disturbing with that video, so I bow my head in apology. As I said before, I will delete that video and replace it with another one. Also, I want to talk about the comment I said, saying 'I respect their tastes, but I do not swing that way.' I do not remember my exact words, but when I talked about that, I remember that I thought I should articulate exactly what I meant so there would be no problems, and used the words 'tastes' and 'that way' because of that. 'Tastes' means the tendency of something according to its characteristics, and a person's characteristics is the nature of someone's heart. Tendency means how a phenomenon, thought, or action tilts into one direction. Therefore, 'tastes' can be written as 'the direction of a person's nature'. This is why I said 'that way' because I was not that direction, not because I could not use the words 'gay', 'homosexual', or 'sexual minority'. However, if 'that side' is used as a derogatory term somewhere in the world, it could be my fault for being ignorant. If that is the case, I apologize for this as well. However, that comment's focus was not 'that side', but 'tendency'. 5-6 years ago, I used the words 'that hobby' and it became derogatory. It was my fault that I expressed tendencies as hobbies. It was something that happened in my early 20s, and I never used it in front of others after recognizing my faults. Now, I know that it is used in many fandoms. If someone who reads this understands that those words are demeaning, I hope they stop using it. It was my fault for being more ignorant than now, and I want to correct my mistakes even if just a little.

These words are something not conferred [with SM Ent] but completely my opinions. It is a concert with my name, so I felt I should give my feedback first and foremost, and I will make sure I do not cause any more trouble in the upcoming performances. If I did not use those words, I thought that sentence in my head, and it came out differently while I was talking. No matter what happened, I do not think the meaning changed. My thoughts are the same. I know many people were looking forward to tomorrow's concert, and I'm sorry that many are coming to it with concerns... This happened because I was lacking, but the reason why I apologized and edited my faults quickly is because I wanted to make tomorrow's performance perfect. Tomorrow, everyone, shout louder! I hope you can forget other things and have 2-3 hours pass by in a moment because you were so into the concert. Everyone, let's meet tomorrow in better condition.

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