ENHYPEN member Jay is currently getting grilled by netizens for making quite frankly a stupid-ass comment about Korean history being like a ‘short story’.
Basically the controversy is he went on Weverse Live and was talking with fellow member Sunghoon about history, prompting Jay to talk about how Korean history was over so quick compared to the rich histories of other countries.
The topic came up when fellow member Sunghoon said during the live broadcast, “I think Korean history is really interesting.” In response, Jay said, “I’m more interested in world history. I’ve already learned a fair amount of Korean history in school.”
He then continued, “History is a subject I’m pretty into, so for me, I might say that there’s not a lot of material in Korean history. You study it for a few weeks, look through what little material there is, and it’s over. It’s like a short story. But other countries, there’s no end to the history. I’ve looked into the histories of all kinds of different countries, and there’s no end to the rich histories. Those countries, their histories go on and on and on. But Korean history just starts, then ends, so fast. It’s like, that’s it?”
Predictably he started getting roasted by netizens for this and he then issued an apology as a result.
After today’s Weverse Live, I was totally shocked by everyone’s responses.
Regardless of the reason, I want to genuinely apologize for causing discomfort in the hearts of ENGENEs.
I spoke too carelessly about such an important topic as Korean history, based solely on my personal impression.
I should not have spoken so thoughtlessly with the little knowledge that I have on the topic.
Once again, this was a time for me to realize how much more I have to learn.
I never intended to speak lightly of our country’s proud history, but I see now that my comments could very well have come across that way, and that is my mistake. I apologize.
I will be more careful and study as to become an artist who is not an embarrassment to ENGENEs.
I’m always learning so much from you all.
It’s a relatively minor issue in a vacuum, and fans are doing their best to focus people on that. However, as you’ve probably learned by now, in Asian entertainment, history is a touchy subject. I’m never for all the rah-rah nationalism shit that’s behind a lot of the focus on this, much less over-the-top hate, so more than anything I just found this rather dumb. I mean you’re talking about at minimum a couple thousand years of Korean history and thousands of years before that if you include all activity in the peninsula, which is really just basic knowledge for anybody who has ever read Wikipedia, much less somebody that had some education in Korea. I suppose if you’re charitable, you could say he meant that Korean history was less outwardly eventful than the histories of other regions, but even that sort of misses the point as to the reason Korean history is important to Koreans, which is that the sorrow and tragedy of those eras is what shaped their culture, society, and the arts even today.
Anyway, what I think happened was Jay wanted to brag about studying the histories of other countries to appear like he’s like a worldly, well-read, history buff, but the way he said it came off rather dismissive of Korean history and was honestly just dumb thing to say as an idol. More than this being some dire issue or whatever, that’s how all this comes off to me: him being stupid.