Apologise, Korea Dispatch

This petition involves celebrities, 'idols', working in the Korean entertainment industry. Jeon Jeong Guk (Jungkook) of BTS, Lee Dong Min (Cha Eunwoo) of Astro, Kim Min Gyu (Mingyu) of Seventeen and Jung Yoon Oh (Jaehyun) of NCT were recently in hot water due to meeting up and 'going to a club' a few weeks ago. This was reported by Korea Dispatch, a Korean news outlet.

Dispatch stated that they had gone out during the Covid-19 outbreak. In defence of these idols, they went out one week before a second outbreak in the area. Itaewon, the place they had visited, was an area largely hit by the virus, however the South Korean government had decided to relax rules and allowed small gatherings after seeing a major drop in cases. Around the same time, a super spreader had been travelling through Itaewon and spreading the virus further. The week after, strict social distancing rules were put in place once again.

In addition, it has been confirmed that these men did not, infact, go to a 'club' rather a small bar and a restaurant. In addition, all of the idol's companies (BigHit, Fantagio, SM and Pledis Entertainment) have put out statements regarding the issue. Unfortunately, many fans have not taken these apologies into consideration and have demanded that they write had written notes and have awards and statuses revoked, e.g. Jungkook's Cultural Merit Award and Jaehyun's MC status on Korean TV program Inkigayo.

It is not uncommon for netizens too be extra, and many had been furious for many petty reasons: they complained that Jaehyun and Eunwoo's letters were too similar and that they should re-write them. In addition, many believe that the Covid-19 tests they had all taken afterwards (which came back negative) were fake and that they just wanted to spread the virus.

We request for Korea Dispatch to answer to the following statements: how were your staff able to gather this information, was somebody sent to follow them? And if so, why were you sending staff out when clearly your recount criticizes them for going out at such a time. Why did you interfere with these idol's privacy? Do you agree with the fans who ask for them to have their statuses removed, or do you feel as though this has extended too far and this incident is being exaggerated more than it should be? Do you apologise to these idols for potentially ruining their reputation, and for your account on these events to have encouraged netizens to send hate and death threats?

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