Korean singer Eric Nam recently found himself amidst a whirlpool of criticism following his like on an Instagram post concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict, which reignited due to an attack on October 7. The viral post — that held a neutral stance — garnered attention in the backdrop of several celebrities voicing their support for either side.
The Instagram post Eric liked said, “It is absolutely reasonable and logical to be opposed to the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY calling for the protection of Jews in Israel and around the world…” This neutrality, however, did not sit well with many of his fans, who took to Twitter to express their discontent.
and fuck eric nam😐 pic.twitter.com/JfZmvkfcCu
— lalaఌ 🇵🇸 (@justyongyoung) October 15, 2023
Many argued that his neutral stance overlooks the historical complexities and ongoing struggles in the region. Tweets criticizing Eric’s neutrality went viral, with many pointing out the distressing humanitarian situation in Palestine.
didn’t expect it from eric nam but imagine if idols were allowed to express their political views, i’d probably be stanning 4 people in the industry imo pic.twitter.com/VuyJcVqtRB
— ℰlena ⟡ | 樂-✩ (@SSICK3RACHA) October 16, 2023
gonna be honest 75% of idols probably dont even have political views. all theyve done since the age of 11 is sing and dance instead of going to school https://t.co/8Gtkunjwsy
— 고사리 (@driedgosari) October 17, 2023
Some fans felt like Nam’s support for the Instagram post was tacitly supporting Israel while being silent on the suffering of Palestinians
icb he's liking a post supporting and defending Israel while saying nothing about how Israel killed thousands and thousands of Palestinians over the past decades.. its disgusting really
— Aky (@akyoa0321) October 17, 2023
ok, look. i am jewish and i really appreciate what hes said because antisemitism is on the rise and is very scary. the problem is him ONLY speaking on behalf of israel and jews. he says he prays for all innocent civillians yet doesnt say a word about those suffering in palestine
— Lofti (@HeheLofti) October 17, 2023
The criticism also extends to discussions around his upcoming tour, with some individuals suggesting boycotts.
MALAYSIA STAND WITH PALESTINE🤝 pic.twitter.com/GnPnY02wjO
— 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐚 ⟭⟬⁷ (@feeragreen) October 16, 2023
Cancel Malaysia please
Oh wait. Malaysia cancelled you.
— Byne (@nuar_lee) October 17, 2023
These reactions shed light on the larger discourse surrounding political engagement and awareness among celebrities, particularly K-Pop idols, whose rigorous training and career demands may limit their exposure to global political issues according to fans. The backlash Eric faces highlights the fine line celebrities tread when engaging with political issues, especially on volatile topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict.
eric nam's concert in malaysia will be held next year. at that time, ppl might slowly stop talking about palestine, palestine might be free might also not, nevertheless i hope yall will continue stop supporting him. just never support him anymore.
— ً🇵🇸 (@bellerism) October 17, 2023
Eric’s like on the post comes at a time when many celebrities are being criticized for their political stands on this issue. It’s an important reminder of the power and influence public figures hold and the scrutiny they are under when voicing opinions on complex, long-standing geopolitical conflicts.
Eric’s situation reflects a broader challenge faced by celebrities in navigating the political landscape, a challenge that is amplified by the digital era where every word they say sometimes holds more weight than a single person’s should.