South Korean music label RBW, to which K-pop girl group Purple Kiss belong, has issued an apology after a member of the group was seen wearing a Nazi symbol in a recently shared image.
In a series of promotional photos for the group’s holiday season merchandise package, which featured members donning military-themed outfits, fans spotted member Goeun with a patch that looked similar to the Nazi eagle, swastika and all.
After fans alerted Goeun, the singer is understood to have apologised and to have had the label investigate, prompting RBW to issue a formal apology on November 23 through Purple Kiss’ fan cafe, a fan blog of sorts popular in South Korea.
RBW took responsibility and apologised for overlooking the historical significance of the symbols Goeun wore, and offered an assurance that its staff would be more diligent in the future.
The photos featuring Goeun with the patch were edited and re-uploaded. It is not known whether the holiday season merchandise will feature the original or altered images.
Purple Kiss debuted last year and released their most song, Zombie, in September.
They are not the first K-pop group to be called out for inappropriate use of a variety of sensitive or religious symbols as Korean pop music becomes more popular in different music markets.
Last year, Blackpink edited a music video after they featured Hindu iconography in a way many viewers felt was disrespectful, and NCT U were called out for inappropriately featuring religiously significant Islamic content.
Earlier this year, before their sudden disbandment, a member of Gfriend was criticised for posing with a Nazi soldier mannequin at a German-themed establishment.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.