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K-pop group Purple Kiss’ label issued an apology after group member Goeun (right) was spotted wearing what looked like Nazi insignia in a recent image, which was edited to remove the offending symbols and re-released. Photo: RBW

K-pop group Purple Kiss’ label says sorry for Nazi symbol one member wore in a promotional photo

  • Purple Kiss, who debuted last year, are the latest K-pop group to use insensitive or inappropriate imagery that prompted an apology
  • Fans alerted group member Goeun, who was wearing a patch that looked similar to the Nazi eagle, swastika and all, and their label took responsibility
K-pop idols
Tamar Hermanin United States

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.

K-pop girl group Purple Kiss. Photo: RBW

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.

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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.