yesterday, after apologizing for the concert vcr, jonghyun made a second apology that was in relation to another issue that was being brought up on twitter. many fans (both korean and international) were confused about this issue due to lack of context and blurred lines in terms of what happened. this post is to clarify further on that briefly:
to begin, the audio clip above reveals that jonghyun, in fact, did not use either of the words that fans were upset about: “that way” or “that side”. (source) translator, @sullaem, gave a brief response to all of his tweets yesterday and this is some context on this specific situation, in her words:
@sullaem: people immediately jumped on this quote and started attacking jonghyun and trying to “teach him a lesson”, instantly labeling him as being homophobic due to the alleged word choice of “that way / that side” as a euphemism for homosexuality. which, in fairness, is a term that otherizes queerness and has derogatory undertones. this all took place just after the concert, before jonghyun had had any chance to provide feedback on the matter. as it turns out, some fans who were at the concert and recorded the audio have verified that jonghyun did not use the term “that way / that side” in his statement at all, period. all he said was, “although i respect (homosexuality), i am not (gay).” [translator’s note: she added the words in brackets, but they were implied by context.]
in any case, jonghyun wanted to give feedback and he clarified and apologized for words he couldn’t 100% remember saying, and didn’t actually say. i haven’t found enough info to figure out whether the people criticizing him for this also brought up the “that hobby” quote from 2010 and demanded he apologize for it too — or if jjong just took it upon himself to explain another older, but similar, word choice issue.
i have mixed feelings on this particular topic (part ii, so to speak — my stance on the vcr thing should be clear already). on one hand i am upset with the people who went on a witch hunt for jonghyun and harassed him based on an inaccurate quote from a concert that had just ended, without any solid proof. it’s difficult to remember quotes verbatim under normal circumstances, but especially when you’re at a concert experiencing heightened emotions and stimuli. we all need to keep in mind that fanaccounts in general should be taken with a grain of salt as everyone remembers things differently, and the most reliable source is video / audio recordings. i think it’s important to call out and acknowledge problematic actions, but unfortunately call out culture can sometimes bring out a lot of nastiness in people and shift the focus more on the self-righteous satisfaction of “enlightening” someone on how much more of a horrible ignoramus they are, rather than actively bringing about positive change.
but, as much as i strongly dislike the way it came about, i am glad jonghyun had a chance to reflect on the way he speaks about and deals with these important issues, which affect not only his fans but everyone around the world. and since he’s a public figure, his words have greater reach and impact than the average person’s, which also gives him more power, responsibility, etc!
after this point, the message veers more into the personal category but she has mentioned to retweet and circulate it to clarify. so, tl;dr: jonghyun did not say what fans said he did, and therefore apologized for something that he did not say. the second half of his apology was more so him trying to make amends for something he did years ago / realized he was being ignorant about. @shineetalks did a great translation of his apology yesterday which is worth scanning over if you have not already. this will be the last time that this issue is brought up on here, but as said: there seemed to be a lot of confusion surrounding it so i figured it would be the best to clarify in full.