Article by Lee Gyu-lee Video by Cho You-bin, Oh Jung-meen
K-pop boy band Stray Kids member Han Ji-sung, better known by his stage name Han, apologized Tuesday for writing racist lyrics in the past.
Han, 20, uploaded a handwritten apology on the group's social media channel, saying he felt "ashamed" of himself for using insulting language against people of other ethnicities.
"I understand that I upset my fans and public with the lyrics I wrote in 2013 when I was 13," he wrote. "It is inexcusably my fault. I'm truly sorry."
The issue came to the fore when a YouTube video he uploaded in the past resurfaced online recently. In the video, he raps using offensive terms and expressions such as "you are a negro migrant worker." He also used the Korean word that refers to "you" -- which is pronounced as "niga" -- in an apparent attempt to imply the N-word.
The post went viral online, leading fans here and abroad to call for his apology and explanation.
Han said he was "immature and young" when he wrote the lyrics. "I didn't put much thought when I was writing those inappropriate lyrics other than just wanting to rap," Han said. "I'm sorry that I hurt people's feelings with such insensitive lyrics.
"I will not neglect the support and encouragement my fans have shown me throughout my career and will work harder to be more right-minded and responsible."
He debuted as a member of the nine-member group in 2018. Stray Kids consisted of the top finalists of Mnet and JYP Entertainment's survival show of the same name.
The group floated to fame shortly after debut, winning rookie awards from several music awards the following year.