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Itzy's Lia apologizes for colorist remark to Chaeryeong: 'Don't want people to get hurt'

Fans and non-fans are commending Itzy's Lia for the way she handled the situation and her mature response
Lia tells Chaeryeong not to get a tan (@ITZYofficial/Twitter)
Lia tells Chaeryeong not to get a tan (@ITZYofficial/Twitter)

With more and more controversies and scandals, fans are finally becoming disillusioned by the perfect image they had created of their favorite K-pop idols. Colorism and racism are prevalent issues in South Korea which shocked international viewers when they became blatantly obvious in Netflix’s first Korean dating show ‘Single’s Inferno’. The male participants had shared that they were attracted to a female participant because of her ‘fair’ and ‘milky’ skin. And now, Itzy’s Lia has come under fire for making a colorist remark to her group member Chaeryeong.

Fans are often tired of broadcast stations, paparazzi, the agencies themselves and Korean fansites white-washing K-pop idols in photos. There have also been several K-pop idols who have unknowingly made colorist jokes as seen with BoA and aespa’s Karina laughing at Girls’ Generation Hyoyeon’s darker skin color. The NCT Dream members are also often reprimanded for repetitively making fun of member Haechan’s darker skin color. Well, on July 20, an Itzy fan took it upon themselves to help Lia understand her mistake for which the K-pop idol profusely apologized.

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Itzy’s Lia makes colorist remark

On July 19, Itzy appeared on MBC radio show ‘Noon Song of Hope’ to promote their latest release ‘Sneakers’. At one point, member Chaeryeong revealed that she wanted to get a tan but Lia had told her not to. As Itzy laughed, Chaeryeong explained, “Lia unnie told me ‘if you really did, you might not look pale or either sexy, you'll just be ambiguously in the middle’. That’s what she told me to my face!”

Lia clarified that the comment was because Chaeryeong was already pretty, “She’s really pretty, Chaeryeong has her own atmosphere with which her pale skin makes her more unique.” Chaeryeong then added that she appreciated it and was grateful Lia had discouraged her.


Many felt that Lia’s comment was problematic as it had a negative subtext even if she wasn’t intentionally making a colorist remark. So, the next day, during an online fansign, a fan brought it up. The Itzy fan said, “You know how you were on the MBC radio show recently? Chaeryeong mentioned that she wanted to tan the way you responded translate to ‘if you tan you’ll become someone who’s not pale or sexy’ which insinuates that people of darker skin tones aren’t attractive. There are many people who were hurt by those words and I was wondering if you could elaborate on what you really meant?”

Lia responded, “First of all, I’m not really sure about this issue at the moment, but if that’s what people understood, I’m so sorry for that, and that was my mistake.” Even though the fansign was over, Lia continued with her apology, “That was definitely not my intention. So, I don’t want any more people to get hurt. And I think that’s something I need to do. Take more time and kind of maybe have a chance to speak out again. Thank you for letting me know.”


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‘Very mature of her’

Fans were proud that she acknowledged her mistake as one tweeted, “Lia said sorry and talked abt the tan issue circulating so maturely. even its not her intention or what she truly mean she apologized bc she knows she offended some ppl and she acknowledge her mistake, it tells a lot abt her personality and i’m so glad i stan a right person.” Another said, “It’s the bare minimum but this is very mature of her to take accountability and apologize for her mistake, she didn’t even excuse herself and is willing to know more about it so she couldn’t hurt anymore people affected by it :(( thank u op for letting her know.. ily choi jisu.”



One fan pointed out, “I’m glad that even when the timer went off she didn’t dismiss the issue.” Another fan added, “Thank you lia for taking accountability. althought it wasnt her intention, she knew some people got hurt and was mature enough to apologize. pls realize that she is a grown woman capable of recognizing her faults and i hope ppl become more cautious with misleading articles online.” A non-fan commented, “Progress!! we dont need to baby these idols. speaking to them directly on these issues will likely be the most effective, meaning we need their fans to stop burying and ignoring problems (some rn come to mind). props to this midzy.”




This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.