American Singer Faces Immense Backlash For Turning SHINee Jonghyun’s Funeral Photo Into A Meme To Promote His Tour

He has since apologized for his insensitive “mistake.”

American singer Oliver Tree‘s past actions are being re-highlighted for its insensitivity and disrespectfulness to SHINee‘s Jonghyun.

American singer Oliver Tree | Atlantic Records

Back in 2019, the Indie singer was in the midst of promoting his Goodbye Farewell Tour when one particular promotional photo caught the eye of K-Pop fans. In the now deleted photo, Oliver Tree uploaded a photoshopped picture of himself with the caption, “REST IN PEACE SWEET BOWL CUT” onto his personal YouTube page in an effort to promote his then tour.

Oliver Tree’s photoshopped picture | @OliverTree/YouTube

However, upon closer inspection, it was quickly revealed that the original photo that Oliver Tree photoshopped for his tour promotion was from SHINee Jonghyun’s funeral. The indie singer had replaced Jonghyun’s face with his own, and created a disrespectful meme to promote his 2019 tour.

The SHINee member passed away back in December 2017 and has been mourned by K-Pop fans all around the world. Jonghyun is considered to be one of the greatest vocalists of the time, as his artistic color and songwriting abilities continue to be praised following his death.

SHINee Jonghyun’s funeral photo | Yonhap News

Given the sensitive situation regarding Jonghyun, it was no wonder that K-Pop fans were left completely baffled once they found out about Oliver Tree’s insensitive use of the funeral photo to promote his music. While the photoshopped picture was from 2 years ago, Oliver Tree had yet to apologize for the situation personally — so SHINee fans have started to re-highlight the situation and have demanded an apology from the singer.

Hashtag #apology_Olivertree began to trend on Twitter, as both Korean and international SHINee fans banded together to bring awareness to the controversy.

Please retweet this.

— @dl_dmd_/Twitter

Following the initial backlash in 2019, the team responsible for managing Oliver Tree and his activities stepped forward to apologize for the controversy. However, not only was the apology spoken on “behalf” of the singer, but the apology’s “insincerity” became the center of more criticisms, igniting the anger of Shawols (SHINee fans) even further.

Oliver Tree’s team apology | @olivertree/Instagram

As the issue recently began to make headlines and gain traction once again, Oliver Tree has finally addressed the situation personally with a formal apology on his Instagram story. The singer shared that the meme photo was not created out of “malicious” intent and that it was a “very foolish mistake.” He also blamed the lack of research on his team’s end and a personal story about his cousin’s death as the reasoning behind the funeral meme photo.

However, OIiver Tree’s personal apology may have come a little too late, as netizens negatively revisit his past controversy and share their honest opinions regarding the singer’s “mistake.”

| theqoo
  • “Who the f*ck is this guy.”
  • “He is so inconsiderate.”
  • “Is he serious?”
  • “What a f*cking a*shole.”
  • “I think they could file a lawsuit for slandering a deceased person.”
  • “His song ‘Life Goes On’ keeps popping up on TikTok. I wonder if there’s a way for me to block his song.”
  • “? What the f*ck did I just read.”
| Atlantic Records

You can read Oliver Tree’s full apology down below.

Oliver Tree’s personal apology | @olivertree/Instagram
Source: Chosun and theqoo

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