Kpop loved two things in 2014: Scandals and Apologies. We already awarded our Scandal of the Year, so we had to give Apologies their due too. Before we name our winner, why not look at a few notable apologies?
Let's look at one of the most recent. On December 22nd, as you must know, Hyeri, from Girl's Day, issued an apology on Twitter (deleted now), to Dongwoon of BEAST.
Translated by Soompi: “Sunbae-nim [senior], you know that I’m a big BEAST fan that even went to your concert, right…:-( [The incident] happened because I couldn’t contain my excitement for your award, but I apologize to those who were offended. I’m sorry. ㅜㅜ I will be more careful in the future, please understand me lovingly.”
This, after (seemingly) insulting him, (seemingly) mocking him in the audience, as he accepted his award at the 2014 MMA. This is the offending video, again, thanks to Soompi's article, which points out that the offending moment happens around the 4.40 mark.
Now, this is all very strange. Firstly, because almost no one has pointed out how odd it is to have a camera trained on idols that are simply relaxing at an awards show. Secondly, because Hyeri just seems to be excited for BEAST's win. Thirdly, because, like most apologies that are pressured by obsessive netizens, an apology here was never ever necessary.
No, Hyeri, you do not win our Apology of the Year, try as you might.
Nor do you, SNSD's Taeyeon. For apologizing to fans after news broke of her relations with Exo's Baekhyun, and then apologizing to fans over the heartbreak they experienced with Jessica's untimely departure from the group. While her tears may have put her in the running, we certainly can't award her here for apologizing over being in love, can we? And who knows what's really going on with SNSD behind the scenes, right?
But what about apologies that were justified then?
How about GLAM's Dahee and her blackmailing scandal? Certainly that warrants an apology, doesn't it?
She's written six apologies (last we've heard, at least) to the actor, Lee Byung Hun, for attempting to blackmail him with her model friend. Maybe deciding the Apology of the Year should have to do more with quantity instead of quality?
But, alas, we can't help but feel this whole situation is just too sad to be that festive. Dahee will probably be facing jail time, and Lee Byung Hun? No matter how this is spun, he's a creep. Maybe the Apology of the Year should come from something stranger and a tad bit lighter.
After School had to apologize to their fans after not meeting with them at a festival after they made banners last minute at Pledis Entertainment's request and - well, we're bored by this convoluted story, so just read about that here (they're so not winning our award). And Lee Hyori? She had to apologize for calling beans organic. What a world! But that's not all.
WA$$UP had to apologize for this:
And Star Empire basically had to apologize for being horrible, and then ZE:A's Moon Joon-young apologized and then they argued more, and then he was suspended and now no one knows what's going on there anymore! Proving, once again, the futility of apology.
As you can probably tell, we're through with apologies. We're sick to death of them. We're sick of their banality, their insincerity, their substantive fallacy. Contrary to popular belief, apology is not always the best policy. An apology, in itself, is not the answer to any of these problems or misunderstandings. If you take an apology and drop it in the ocean, do you know what happens? It floats.
Which is why we're awarding the Apology of the Year to the one rookie idol who probably should have actually given an apology, but didn't, perhaps changing the course of apologies...forever (doubtful, but we can hope). Yes, we're talking about A.KOR's Kemy and yes, we're talking about her ill-timed diss track of embattled 2ne1 star Park Bom. Haven't heard it yet? Here you go.
Offensive? Yes. Over-the-top? Definitely. And especially in a Korean culture that values seniority and respect? This is unthinkable. We were expecting an apology within 24 hours of this blowing up on Twitter. And then when Kemy did not apologize right away, we expected an apology to be forthcoming after Kemy received countless death threats from 2ne1 supporters. But, nothing. And, in this strange way, not getting that apology was...refreshing? But, regardless, we assumed that Kemy and A.KOR would be finished.
So, maybe there's a lesson here. Or, at least, an example. If an idol doesn't apologize for a perceived (or explicit) slight, it's not really the end of the world. Time and silence can heal too. We're not saying that idols should go around insulting each other without repercussions. What we are saying is that the value of Apologies has dropped significantly in 2014. And if Apologies are going to survive as a currency in 2015, they need to be spent sparingly and sincerely.
A.KOR's Kemy can survive in the industry without apologizing, so other idols can too. With less idols feeling the need to apologize, maybe the industry can breathe a little easier. Maybe something great and unexpected can come out of this new-found freedom - something edgy and subversive and even a little bit offensive. We can only hope. But at least now we have hope. It's because of this, and because we're really so sick of apologies, that Kemy gets 2014's Apology of the Year. For not apologizing.