Multicultural group to lodge complaint over Tzuyu’s apology

January 18, 2016
Chou Tzuyu, left, and Park Jin-young

Chou Tzuyu, left, and Park Jin-young

SEOUL (Yonhap) — A private multicultural organization said Monday it will file a complaint later this week with the national human rights watchdog against an entertainment agency chief who reportedly forced a 16-year-old Taiwanese K-pop singer to apologize for waving the island’s flag.

The Center for Multicultural Korea (CMCK) in Seoul denounced Park Jin-young, chief of JYP Entertainment, for allegedly forcing the young girl to make the apology, which it calls a “serious racial discrimination and human rights infringement.”

K-pop singer Chou Tzu-yu, a member of the South Korean girl group TWICE managed by JYP, waved Taiwan’s national flag on a South Korean entertainment TV program in November. This incident has been thrown into a political row between Taiwan and mainland China.

The center said in a statement that a “16-year-old girl waving the national flag of her own country is very natural, but Park Jin-young forced her to make an apology under pressure from Chinese netizens.”

“We will ask the National Human Rights Commission of Korea to investigate whether the apology was forced or not,” it said, adding that it will bring the case to the prosecution if the apology was found to be coerced.

“This kind of incident can take place anytime in entertainment agencies which are blind to commercial interests and ignorant of multicultural and human rights,” the center said.

In the past two months, anger among Chinese SNS users over the flag incident forced JYP chief Park Jin-young to offer an apology to Chinese fans and Tzuyu to stop all of her current activities in China.

“Through this incident, I have once again deeply experienced that, to partner with a nation, there is a need to respect that nation’s sovereignty, culture, history, and the people’s emotions, ” Park said.

“In the future, we will firmly put an end to having this kind of incident occur,” Park said in a recent apology that appeared on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.

In an apparent move to calm controversy, Tzuyu finally came forward and expressed her own personal apology.

“I extended my apology belatedly as I did not know how to handle this situation,” she said.

Responding to Tzuyu’s apology, JYP Entertainment said later on Monday that it was not forced, but was made in consultation with her parents from the beginning.

“As Tzuyu is a minor, we waited for her parents to come to Korea so that we were able to make a final conclusion to the matter,” JYP Entertainment said in a statement.

It also said, “A person’s beliefs cannot be forced under any circumstances. Her parents expressed their wishes that the situation would ease and that their daughter can sing and dance again.”

Meanwhile, Park on Monday denied a news report that a Taiwanese business offered to take an exclusive contract for Tzuyu from JYP Entertainment.

A source at the entertainment agency said they have never received an offer for an exclusive contract from a Taiwanese magazine company at the price of 3.6 billion won (US$3 million).


  1. HSVG mission

    January 18, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    We, HSVG mission, noticed from the news that South Korea’s JYP Entertainment had TWICE member Tzuyu CHOU, aged 16 only, apologize for holding a flag of Taiwan, where she is originally from, after causing boycotts from China. In the apology video JYP Entertainment released at YouTube, Tzuyu CHOU looked extremely tired and somber. We highly suspect that this case is related to teen abuse, or, more precisely, emotional abuse. We have asked JYP Entertainment to correct its inappropriate supervision on Tzuyu CHOU and provide Tzuyu CHOU with adequate care of mental health immediately.

    We have also sent messages to Mr. Minister Chin-youb CHUNG of South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare requesting the Ministry monitor if JYP Entertainment takes any improvement action on Tzuyu CHOU case and investigate the health and welfare status of Tzuyu CHOU from 2012 to the present since she started the training with JYP Entertainemnt when she was 13.

    A message sent to Mr. Minister Been-huang CHIANG of Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare requests the Minitry collaborate with its South Korea’s counterpart to ensure JYP Entertainment’s improvement actions and take good care of Tzuyu CHOU’s emotional needs. In addition, we also remind Taiwan to investigate if Tzuyu CHOU’s parents are violating Taiwan’s child & teen welfare laws because we learn that she left Taiwan and started JYP Entertainemnt’s training in South Korea when she was 13 only.

    Emotional abuse is the emotional maltreatment of a child/teen, causing severe and adverse effects on child’s/teen’s emotional development. Examples of emotional abuse include: conveying to a child/teen that they are valued only when they meet the needs of another person; not giving the child/teen opportunities to express their views; interactions beyond a child’s/teen’s developmental capability. Researches show emotionally abused and neglected teens did express more internalizing features, such as being withdrawn, anxious, depressed, angry, experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms, or sexual concerns than teens who had not maltreated. And they were three times more likely to express suicide ideation than teens at risk of other types of abuse or neglect.

    HSVG, based on Guam USA, is a non-profit mission, striving to foster health promotion, environment protection, cultural diversity and human right in the western pacific region. Please visit our website at to learn more about who we are and what we are doing.

  2. Isaias

    January 19, 2016 at 3:19 AM

    So, what they are doing is make Tzuyu suffer more, since the issue was already dying, and she was working on her dream again… good. “Human rights”…yeah…