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aespa Karina’s dating apology labelled ‘national embarrassment’ amid negative western coverage

Karina’s dating apology prompts unfavorable reactions from fans and media sources.  

It’s heartbreaking to see a wonderful love story devolve into a dating scandal. Aespa’s Karina and actor Lee Jae Wook’s romantic relationship, which was revealed by a South Korean media outlet, drew great attention. However, it appears that the attention grew overpowering. Initially, their romance news spread following a charming confirmation from Lee Jae Wook’s agency. But days later, Karina wrote a statement to her enraged fans that seemed more like an apology for her relationship. Was that too much? Western media surely believed so.  

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Headlines like “K-pop star apologizes after relationship goes public,” “aespa member ashamed of dating news,” and “Pop star apologizes to fans after relationship reveal sparks backlash” dominated the newspapers shortly after the aespa member issued a note for a segment of her following, MYs. These fans had sent a protest vehicle to SM Entertainment to voice their outrage. They claimed that Karina had hurt the group’s reputation with her dating news. 

K-netizens brand aespa Karina a “national embarrassment.”  

The apologetic letter received tremendous unfavorable attention from Western media, generating a firestorm of internet debate. However, things heated up when Korean netizens, who are already highly critical of K-pop relationship controversies, spotted a BBC report about the apology incident. On March 6th, the site released an article about her apologies, discussing the stigma connected with dating among K-Pop fans. 

“Those Korean fans, LOL. It’s been a long time since K-Pop went global, yet they still don’t seem to understand that when anything like this happens, it immediately discredits the country.” A user said after a few Korean followers shared the BBC item online. Many others saw it as a “embarrassment” to the country’s reputation. “This is a real embarrassment for the country,” another individual commented. “Well, this is a toxic culture so it deserves some embarrassment,” “I think this issue became bigger after Karina actually wrote the apology,” such views continue to circulate on the internet.  

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Many fans believe Karina’s dating apologies, which says, “Hello, my name is Karina. First and foremost, I apologize for shocking you so much. I was late [in addressing it] because I felt I needed to be cautious because MYs were quite rattled. I know how disappointed MYs, who had been supporting me all along, were, and how sad you must have felt when you remembered everything we had discussed together. Because I know exactly how you feel, I’m even more sorry,” would not have escalated if she had decided to handle it in person rather than writing a letter in the beginning



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