The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
iKon perform at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games in GBK stadium, Senayan, Sunday, September 2, 2018. (JP/Seto Wardhana.)
Now that iKON’s Ju-ne has apologized for the controversy surrounding his Instagram post about a Japanese director, attention is now on whether he will be able to ride out the storm before the group’s imminent return.
On Saturday, the iKON member posted a now-deleted image of an autograph he received from Japanese movie director and comedian Takeshi Kitano.
But the image attracted criticism, as Kitano is known here for his disparaging comments about Korea.
In an effort to protect Ju-ne from the possible backlash, fans voiced concerns and suggested that he should delete the post.
But he responded with negative comments such as “Don’t tell me to do this or that” and “I like him as an artist, so no. Whenever something happens, do I have to chicken out and delete everything?”
As his response stirred a whirlwind of controversy among fans, the artist posted apologies on his Instagram, one in a post and the other in a hand-written letter, saying, “I didn’t know further information about the actor because I liked him.”
“I failed to recognize that fans were trying to take care of me. I feel so embarrassed and miserable for deluding myself into thinking that it was just a conversation with my close friend.”
Considering that iKON returns to the K-pop scene with a new album less than a week, fans are now concerned about the dispute taking a toll on the group’s career. Since dominating both local and global charts with “Love Scenario” earlier this year, iKON has been extending its winning streak by sweeping the scene with “Killing Me” last month and gearing up for a comeback with new EP “New Kids: The Final,” slated for release on Oct. 1.
The 22-year-old Ju-ne was one of the more popular musicians in the group, well known for his charismatic and artistic image.
iKON recently performed in Taipei and will continue its Asian tour in cities including Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta and Hong Kong through October and November.