Several K-pop agencies have apologized for their artists’ recent visit to Itaewon district last April 25, as the news of them visiting clubs and restaurants in Itaewon have been surfaced by no other than the media outlet Dispatch on May 18.
On the following statements made by BTS’s Jungkook, Seventeen’s Mingyu, ASTRO’s Eunwoo, and NCT Jaehyun’s agencies, they confirmed that their artists have went to Itaewon and have visited a restaurant and a club, despite strict social distancing measures by the South Korean government amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
BigHit Entertainment’s statement regarding BTS Jungkook’s visit to Itaewon on April 25:
Hello This is Big Hit Entertainment.
This is our official position regarding BTS Jungkook’s visit to Itaewon, Seoul.
First of all, we would like to sincerely apologize for our late acknowledgment that there were several inquiries from the media about Jungkook’s visit to Itaewon and that there was a problem with our initial response.
It is true Jungkook visited Itaewon. However, at the time of his visit, he did not go to the same venue that had the confirmed case in early May. He went about a week before that case occurred. Also, we decided that it would not be appropriate to disclose the artists’ daily life activities to the public because we voluntarily took measures such as taking the Coronavirus test, according to government guidelines.
However, there is no excuse for this decision, as it showed that we did not recognize the seriousness of social distancing during this time, as the artists’ managing agency. Instead we put more priority into the protection of the artist. We would like to bow our heads in apology to everyone for this.
Jungkook visited Itaewon restaurants and bars on Saturday, April 25. Since his visit, he has not had any Coronavirus symptoms such as coughing or fever, and he voluntarily got tested at a screening clinic and tested negative. Currently, Jungkook is deeply reflecting on the fact that he has not faithfully participated in the efforts of keeping social distance.
Big Hit is doing our best to follow the Coronavirus guidelines and preventative measures, such as social distancing. We will be more thorough so something like this does not happen again. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our fans and the public.
Pledis Entertainment’s statement regarding Seventeen Mingyu’s visit to Itaewon on April 25:
Hello, this is Pledis Entertainment.
First of all, we would like to sincerely apologize for causing concern to many people about the reports of Mingyu’s visit to Itaewon.
Mingyu is deeply reflecting on his misbehavior for failing to abide by the social distancing norms during the government’s social distancing period.
In addition, as recommended by the Korean Center for Disease Control, Mingyu had no symptoms of Coronavirus such as coughing or fever after confirming that he visited Itaewon during the period outlined by the government. However, he voluntarily underwent a Coronavirus screening test out of fear for harming those around him. Since then, he has thoroughly practiced self-isolation and improved personal hygiene procedures since his negative test result.
We also feel a heavy sense of responsibility for failing to properly manage our artist. We sincerely apologize for causing concert to the fans who continuously show their support and interest. To prevent this from happening again in the future, we will pay special attention to our artists and raise awareness about personal hygiene standards as well as practicing social distancing norms.
Once again, we would like to bow our heads in apology.
Fantagio’s statement regarding ASTRO Eunwoo’s visit to Itaewon on April 25:
Hello, this is Fantagio.
We have confirmed that Cha Eunwoo was in Itaewon with his friends on April 25. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by our negligence in our company’s promise to everyone of maintaining social distancing.
Cha Eunwoo did not visit the venue that the first confirmed case in Itaewon was in early May. We also received a response from the Korean Center for Disease Control that if he had no symptoms, the test for Coronavirus would not be required. However, for the health and safety of the artists and people around him, Cha Eunwoo got tested and received a negative test result.
Regardless of the reasons, it was unwise for Cha Eunwoo, our artist, to visit Itaewon at a time where Koreans are practicing social distancing. He deeply regrets that he has not made a sincere effort to keep his social distance from others.
In the future, we promise that all of our artists will do their best to comply with the rules of preventing the spread of the virus, and prevent something like this from happening again.
We are sorry to have caused trouble to everyone.
SM Entertainment’s statement regarding NCT Jaehyun’s visit to Itaewon on April 25:
Hello, this is SM Entertainment.
We apologize for causing concern during times when many people are facing hardships due to corona-19.
Jaehyun visited an Itaewon restaurant and a bar on April 25th with his friends. However, he did not visit the specific club that was problematic, and it was 7 days before the confirmed patient was in Itaewon.
Jaehyun does not have symptoms but as corona-19 spread through the Itaewon club, he voluntarily got tested and the results came back negative. He is currently deeply reflecting on not having been careful despite everyone limiting contact and practicing social distancing.
Our label should have also managed our artist so he practiced social distancing even during his personal life, and we apologize for being lacking.
We will work harder to manage our artists so something like this does not happen again.
In addition to SM and BigHit’s statements, they confirmed that the bar that their artists visited was not the same place as the reported confirmed COVID-19 cases. The four agencies mentioned apologizes to the actions made by the artists regarding social distancing. The artists were tested negative after going through voluntary testing and promised that this situation will not happen in the future.
Earlier this week, WINNER Mino’s agency YG Entertainment apologizes after his recent performance at a club in Yangyang county, Gangwon province on May 3.
YG Entertainment’s statement regarding WINNER Mino’s performance at a club on May 3:
We have confirmed that Song Mino recently went on a private trip with his acquaintances. We apologize for causing everyone concern. We will be more mindful and ask [Song Mino] to carefully follow the rules of personal hygiene and social distancing.
Also, former KARA member Gyuri’s agency Creative Kkot apologized to her recent visit to the club linked to the new string of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Creative Kkot’s statement regarding former KARA member Gyuri’s recent visit to a club in Itaewon:
Hello, this is Park Gyuri’s agent.
Once again, I’d like to apologize for causing everyone concern.
Park Gyuri is deeply reflecting [her actions] and once again apologizes. She was wearing a mask from the time of entry to the time of departure, and when the article about the confirmed case was released, she voluntarily visited the screening center before receiving a call from the district office and was immediately examined. She is currently in self-isolation after testing negative [for the virus].
Park Gyuri’s statement regarding her recent visit to a club in Itaewon:
Hello, this is Park Gyuri.
Regardless of all the reasons, I would like to deeply reflect and apologize for not following the guidelines that everyone should follow during the period of social distancing.
I wore a mask from the moment I entered [the club] and kept it on until I left. On the day the article about the confirmed case came out, I immediately went to get examined, and I tested negative [for the virus]. I am currently in self-isolation. Once again, I apologize.’
It was then followed by a correction to their statement that Gyuri had taken her mask for approximately 20 seconds inside the club. –HallyuLife.com
Eljay Reyes & Bryan Snow contributed to this article.