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TWICE News: Campus Festival MC Apologizes To Female K-Pop Group Over Offensive Chant

by Jessica Rapir / May 15, 2018 06:01 AM EDT
Campus festival host apologizes to TWICE and fans for urging the audience to chant "service" after the K-pop group's performance. Photo by TWICE/Facebook

The host in the recent campus festival at a university in Seoul, South Korea issued an apology to TWICE for his poor choice of words following the female K-pop group's performance. MC Lee Jung Pyo was criticized by netizens after he urged the festival attendees to chant "service" instead of "encore" after TWICE performed their last song for the event.

Lee Jung Pyo has been the target of backlash after he encouraged the crowd at the Sungkyunkwan University's festival to chant "service" to bring back TWICE on stage. In Korea, the word "service" is used to describe something that is given for free when a purchase is made. But, it has another meaning too.

"Everyone TWICE is not going to come back out (on stage) if you shout 'encore'. You have to say 'service' in this case," Lee told the audience who listened to his command.

TWICE fans quickly slammed the MC for making "inappropriate" demands as the term "service" is associated with adult entertainment. Some fans stressed that the MC should not use the word "service" to replace "encore" as the former refers to a thing and not to a person or people. Others stressed that "encore" has been the established word when fans would like to ask an artist or a group to give an exceptional performance at the end of their last song.

"You can't just switch those two words out and think they mean the same thing. Those are not the same and the MC deserves all the backlash he got from the Korean fan base," one fan commented.

The Sungkyunkwan University's 50th Student Council demanded Lee to issue an apology to TWICE and to fans following the backlash from netizens. The council found fault on Lee's action as it was revealed that the audience first shouted "encore" to request an additional song from the nine-member female K-pop group. But, Lee Jung Pyo cut off the audience's chant and encouraged them to shout "service" instead.

The student group admitted that TWICE and some school members were upset with the MC's choice of words which has a negative connotation given the event where it was used. It was not clear if Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu sang another song for the concertgoers.

The student council explained that before the festival, they had reminded Lee to pay attention to his remarks that may be construed as sexist or socially controversial. Hence, the council immediately demanded Lee to issue an apology when his inappropriate word sparked controversy.

In response to netizens' criticisms and the university's demands, Lee Jung Pyo posted an apology on the student council's official Facebook page. Lee explained that he wanted to give the students the best festival experience they could have by urging TWICE to sing one more song.

He admitted his poor choice of words. Lee said he wants the urge the crowd to chant "fan service" but ended up asking the audience to chant "service.

"I didn't think it would be perceived differently from my intentions. It was my inexperience and insufficiency. I sincerely apologize to all," he said.

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