It's been a long-running joke how the meaning behind symbols and messages will often be lost in translation when they make their way between the East and West. Ariana Grande gets a Japanese tattoo that reads “charcoal grill,” Asian merch advertises “Boston, Msaeachubaets” and people from both cultures have a good laugh.
Of course, errors in translation can also get people into deep trouble, as the world is seeing now with K-pop idol Chaeyoung of TWICE, who in the span of a week has worn a QAnon shirt and another shirt with a swastika on it.
These are two huge oopsies for the idol, particularly as TWICE are making the rounds on American television in promotion of their single "Set Me Free."
Some fans noted that both incidents could be reasonably explained — if one is perhaps fortunate enough to not know about QAnon, a shirt with the letter Q and the words "We Go All" does not read as particularly offensive, and Chaeyoung's sporting of it could be a simple error on the part of her stylist.
In the case of the "swastika" shirt, the shirt is less a "pro-Nazi" shirt than it is a shirt with a picture of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols on it, and Vicious's shirt has a swastika on it.
Still, the fact that both of these incidents happened in such close proximity to each other was a wildly unfortunate coincidence, and some weren't charitable with their interpretations of how these controversies came about as they generated backlash online in recent days.
Some accused her of promoting antisemitism and others called for her to be fired.
The latter suggestion seems unlikely to happen. Both Chaeyoung and her agency, JYP Entertainment, posted "apologies" for the swastika shirt, though neither has commented on the Q shirt incident as of the time of writing.
Mar 22, 2023 at 05:06PM EDT in reply to
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