Stars apologize for visiting clubs in Itaewon
Four celebrities were found to have visited clubs in Itaewon on April 25 during the government-guided social distancing period, and their agencies have released official apologies to fans and the public on their behalf.
Jungkook of boy band BTS, Jaehyun of NCT, Minkyu of Seventeen and actor and singer Cha Eun-woo of Astro got together in central Seoul’s Itaewon on Saturday evening and stayed out until Sunday morning, during which they visited a restaurant and an “entertainment” facility similar to a club, reported local news outlet Dispatch.
All four stars took a coronavirus test after seeing reports about the cluster of outbreaks that began in Itaewon on May 1.
Although all four tested negative, one of the facilities they visited has been ordered to close its doors by the government as patients were found to have visited there.
Fans demanded the agencies provide an explanation and an apology, due to the fact that the stars failed to follow the government’s guidelines, as well as the fact that they continued with a number of public events after visiting the problematic facilities.
Following the report that was published on Monday morning, Big Hit Entertainment was the first agency to release an official apology regarding the news of BTS star Jungkook, stating that they had made a “mistake” in the way they dealt with the news early on.
When rumors circulated online over the weekend that people had spotted the stars in Itaewon during the social distancing period, Big Hit Entertainment replied by saying that it was a matter of “the artist’s private life” and thus the agency was not liable to give any explanation — especially because the date of the visit was a week earlier than when the first case of the Itaewon outbreak was confirmed.
“Jungkook voluntarily got tested and was declared negative, and he deeply regrets his failure to take part in society’s efforts to keep the social distancing rules,” Big Hit Entertainment said.
“We had not been able to properly realize the importance of abiding by the social distancing guidelines as the artist’s agency,” the agency said, “and we have no excuse in the fact that we had prioritized the artist’s privacy [over the guidelines]. We bow our heads sincerely.”
Pledis Entertainment, home to Minkyu of Seventeen, soon followed with an apology, as well as Cha’s agency Fantagio and Jaehyun’s agency SM Entertainment.
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]