Actress Ha Yeon Soo uploaded a photo to her Instagram where she posed with a monkey in front of a circus photo zone.
The image became controversial as the photo zone’s poster closely resembled the design of a Japanese Rising Sun Flag, which was used during the time when Japan colonized Korea.
The Rising Sun Flag is seen highly negatively in Korea, as it represents an era where the Koreans were oppressed by the Japanese army.
When netizens began criticizing her for uploading the controversial photo, Ha Yeon Soo attempted to explain that she also thought the image could be seen in a negative light, so she had changed its filter to look less like the Rising Sun Flag.
“The circus’s photo zone pattern just had similar line designs. I also thought people could be sensitive to the pattern so I lowered the saturation. The color was actually bright red.”
— Ha Yeon Soo
Netizens became even more furious at her explanation, claiming she should not have posted it if she knew it could cause a controversy regarding the Rising Sun Flag.
- “She must be really stupid if she already knew it could cause a controversy, yet still decided to post it.”
- “If she lowered the saturation before uploading it, it means she knew what she was doing. Does she not understand how sensitive Koreans are to that specific pattern? Her explanation is so weird. Please Google before you post.”
- “I mean, wouldn’t any Korean who looks at that poster think it resembles the Rising Sun flag? Did she have to post it?”
As the photo became more viral, Ha Yeon Soo decided to delete the post off of her Instagram.
“If the line pattern itself is becoming a serious controversy, I will delete it.”
— Ha Yeon Soo