1. Nayeon’s streaming
On February 21, 2016, Nayeon posted an image of Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon’s “Secret” streaming on her phone. This sparked controversy due to the fact that she was using SoundCloud, a service that allows people to upload and share music for free, to stream Taeyeon’s song, which was formally distributed and sold in the market. In other words, sharing such music on SoundCloud was illegal. Luckily, Nayeon dealt with the situation quickly by immediately apologizing and stating that she would be more careful next time and the issue was put to bed.
2. Tzuyu’s flag controversy
In November 2015, TWICE members held up flags of their countries in an episode of My Little Television. Tzuyu, who was born in Taiwan, held up the Republic of China flag (right). After the episode was broadcast, the Taiwanese China-based singer Huang An accused Tzuyu of being a Taiwanese independence activist, calling her a traitor. The backlash from the incident led to the cancellation or suspension of various TWICE activities as well as a Chinese boycott against JYP Entertainment through Weibo. During this time, various Chinese media took down anything related to TWICE on their platforms. A few months later, Tzuyu posted a video apologizing for her actions, which was followed by a letter of apology by Park Jin Young himself. Many were sympathetic towards the young K-Pop star who went through a lot for the then-16-year-old teenager.
3. Music Bank score scandal
On May 27, 2016, AOA took first place followed by TWICE on Music Bank. However, netizens noticed something strange about the score for album sales. Compared to Jessica who received 1925 points with 3771X album sales, MONSTA X who received 999 points with 1957X album sales, Woohyun who received 890 points with 1744X album sales and TWICE who received 224 points with 438X album sales, AOA received an excessive 1600 points for 2098X album sales.
After much calculation on the netizens’ part, they came to the conclusion that when calculated according to the ratio used for all the other artists, AOA’s final score should have been 1071, 500 points lower than what they received. AOA had won TWICE for first place by 86 points, which means that if the netizens’ calculations were correct, TWICE was wrongly placed in 2nd rank. Music Bank later revealed that there was an error to the album sales score and correctly announced that TWICE had won 1st place while AOA won 2nd place.
3. Mina’s rising sun flag hat
At a fansign event on December 4, 2016, Mina wore a hat with a design that resembled the rising sun flag given to her by a Japanese fan at the event. About 10 seconds after she wore the hat, her manager noticed the symbol and had her take it off. Although a video clip of Mina before wearing the hat clearly shows that she did not see the hat before putting it over her head, she received criticism from netizens who were offended.
After realizing that it had become a big issue, the fan who gave her the hat apologized to TWICE and fans for his carelessness through Twitter. Although JYP Entertainment did not issue a separate statement, they posted an announcement clarifying that all goods taken to fansign events must be checked by staff beforehand and that any gifts containing inappropriate patterns or designs will not be allowed.
4. SBS Gayo Daejeon controversy
TWICE participated in the 2015 SBS Gayo Daejeon only 2 months after their debut. However, fans were unhappy about TWICE’s significantly reduced performance time as well as the terrible camerawork.
Fans were hoping that TWICE would receive better treatment the following year but what really happened during the 2016 SBS Gayo Daejeon was far worse. Mina and Momo’s intro recording was scheduled to begin at 10 am so fans had waited in line despite the cold weather. After having the fans wait for many hours, SBS canceled the recording last minute. In the end, Mina and Momo ended up recording in front of EXO and NCT fans at 5 pm.
Then during the actual performance as TWICE members were getting ready to perform “TT”, GFRIEND’s “Navillera” began to play instead and continued to play for 35 seconds. As a result, approximately 40 seconds were cut off of TWICE’s performance time and TWICE had to start “TT” from the second verse. The members were not able to perform to their full potential due to the confusion on this live national broadcast.
5. Chaeyoung’s alleged private blog
Netizens claimed they had discovered Chaeyoung’s private blog on Naver. A post brought to attention an image of two of her posts describing her emotions about receiving flowers circulated the internet and upset some fans. One post contained a photo of pink flowers received by a fan and a message indicating that it was from a “stranger”.
She added at the bottom of the post, “These days, the word meaningless fits perfectly with my mood.” In the other post, which contained a photo of purple flowers, she wrote that she couldn’t be happier and that it was so lovely. The two photos compared flowers received by a fan as “meaningless” and other flowers received by her were lovely. It was later revealed that the pink flower post was posted in November 2015 and the purple flower post in March 2016 and therefore, the user who brought the posts to attention most likely shared the images maliciously.
Another post had indicated that she watched the film Carol, which was not only rated R (when Chaeyoung was underage) and was apparently unavailable for video-on-demand service at the time, causing fans to suspect if she had downloaded it illegally. JYP Entertainment did not respond to the issue but since the issue was brought up, the blog is no longer active.
6. Mina’s threat
In June 2017, a Korean online community user threatened to kill Mina. The post titled “Mina I’ve got a knife” included a photo of a knife put up against the person’s wrist. The user continued, “Unless you slap your boyfriend and rip his mouth, I’m going to come kill you.” The user was most likely referring to Mina’s photo scandal with GOT7’s BamBam from a couple of months prior to the incident. The photo had led to rumors of the two being in a relationship. The rumors were shot down by JYP Entertainment who clarified that the two idols were simply friends.
7. TWICE’s threat
On July 2, 2017, a photo of a long line of Japanese fans waiting to see TWICE was posted on an online community website along with the title “TWICE has forgotten about our country and is making a lot of money in Japan”. The person who wrote the post continued, “Yes, money is good. Money is the best. Don’t ever come back to Korea. I’ll be waiting with 10L of hydrochloric acid at the airport.”
JYP Entertainment issued a statement explaining that they sent additional security to the airport for a safe arrival and that the IP address of the author will be tracked and punished.
8. TWICE’s encore controversy
The host at TWICE’s performance at Sungkyunkwan University, Lee Jung Pyo, was under fire from netizens for his choice of words when calling TWICE for an encore performance. As the audience was shouting “Encore!” for TWICE to come back, the host said, “TWICE doesn’t come back on stage when you chant ‘encore’. You need to chant ‘service!’” The audience began to chant “Service!” after the host continued to encourage them. After the event, the host was criticized for using the term “service” due to the possibility of its sexual or demeaning connotations. Moreover, the host had only asked the audience to chant “service” to TWICE and not the other performers. A few days later, Lee Jung Pyo made an official apology to TWICE, their fans and the students at the event.