Suzy recently supported the government petition that called for an investigation into the allegations made by YouTuber Yang Ye Won against a photo studio in which she accused them of sexually assaulting her and coercing her into nude pictures. However, a problem popped up soon after, as while the location and name of the photo studio was the same, ownership had changed since the incident.
In a post, the owner of Once Picture studio, which currently occupies the location, stated, “The shooting date that the victim shared was before the day our studio opened. Upon taking over [the location], we remodeled the studio and have been using it since then, and so we are completely unrelated to this case.”
So Suzy took to Instagram to apologize for the confusion, which honestly seems rather understandable given that the location and name was the same.
On May 19, Suzy took to her Instagram and stated, “I recently learned about a studio receiving damages due the change in ownership and studio name, which was [included] in the recent government petition that I signed in support for. It felt like there was more damage done because I had showed support of the [petition], and so I’d like to relay my apologies to the studio. Even though it was about doing something good, it’s definitely my fault for not looking carefully. Even now, I feel like I must let people know that this studio does not have anything to do with this issue, which is why I am posting this. But still, apart from this, I hope that those who are seeking for the truth to be revealed about this case continue hoping for that.”
The studio responded by threatening legal action over the mistake.
In response to Suzy’s words, a source from Once Picture studio released an official statement, saying, “Suzy surely knows just how influential she is. She showed support for a petition that exposed [our] location and company name and marked us as illegal. And if she admitted that on her personal social media account, then at the very least we think it would have been proper for her to check the facts.” The studio continued, saying, “Suzy says that she posted an apology. But we wonder if this entire incident will be forgotten with one word of an apology. It probably isn’t all just Suzy’s fault, but where should we get compensated for the damage that our studio has received through this incident? We wish for this to be a lesson on just how great the damage can be due to a celebrity’s rash utilization of [their] influence. Naturally, the one who posted the government petition; the ones who circulated [the petition]; the cyber terrorists; the Blue House (The South Korean President’s executive office and official residence), which has neglected the petition regarding defamation, and Suzy’s responsibility will be going through the review of a legal representative and we will be taking necessary civil action.”
JYP Entertainment then responded by saying they’re going to get their lawyers too.
On May 21, a source from JYP Entertainment stated, “Suzy has communicated her intent to personally apologize on May 19 to the studio; however, instead of personally receiving the apology, a source from the studio replied to contact [their] lawyer, which is why she first shared the intentions of her apology on social media.” The agency continued, saying, “We heard from the studio’s side and from now on, we will also seek consultation from a legal representative and will move forward with their opinion.”
Legally speaking, I’m quite interested to see how this case shakes out. While the new owners of the studio are rightfully pissed off about being associated with this mess, it was also obviously an honest mistake on the petition given that it’s the same location and same name. As far as Suzy’s involvement, she didn’t do anything but bring attention to the petition, but going after her is likely the best route to get compensation out of the situation. Curious to see how Korea’s … um, generous defamation laws work here.
That said, these legal threats seem like a distraction from the core issue of Yang Ye Won’s allegations needing to be taken seriously, and the important thing is that investigations appear to be underway. Like I get why it sucks for the new owners, but people trying to draw equivalencies as if the things at stake here balance out is honestly a joke.
On that note, let me vaguely complain for a bit and say that this trend on Reddit and Netizen Buzz and shit where people are trying their best to be The Discourse Respecter whenever these issues arise are transparent as hell. Not everybody who has a take on situations like these simply doesn’t get the whole picture of the environment in Korea and needs to be told to focus on the broader discourse instead of discussing the topic at hand. I swear to god, it’s like it’s never crossed their minds that many do understand the surrounding context but also don’t give a fuck about starting a discourse to understand the justifications of dudes who flip out because a female celebrity they fantasize about read a book they don’t like. Or on the opposite end, I similarly don’t need to read discourse about sympathizing with Korean rad fem communities who proudly disdain homosexuals and transgender people.
So when a bunch of people side with Suzy or Irene or Naeun after they get backlash for tangentially supporting something that could maybe kinda sorta be interpreted as anything resembling feminist, it doesn’t mean those people need explainers about how they should actually talk about broader gender issues in Korea instead because discourse is so important or something. If that’s of the utmost concern to them they can start it elsewhere, but they never do because they don’t care about that, the goal is simply to sidetrack from the topic at hand of female celebrities getting over-the-top hate for bullshit reasons.