In late September 2023, SHINee‘s Taemin and Key came under fire for comments about Minho‘s skin tone.
In the latest SHINee.ing episode, Key and Taemin commented on how Minho’s skin tone becomes darker after outdoor activities, making jokes about being unable to see him in the dark and asking why he became so tanned.
Many viewers found these comments to be “colorist” and discussed their disappointment in the two artists over their words.
it’s been YEARS with those jokes about minho’s skin tone and actually it’s getting annoying and offensive. i love shinee but when they say stupid ass shit then they deserve to be pointed out and yell stupid at them. because they were dumb. at their age they can do better
— biblically accurate onew (@meusconceptions) September 26, 2023
Just days later, Taemin, Key, and the team that worked on the video issued apologies via Instagram story. Each apology mentioned they would reflect on what they said after receiving feedback from fans.
While some feel like not enough was done, many fans have been left pleasantly surprised by the acknowledgment of the issues.
Unfortunately, when K-Pop artists make comments or do things found to be offensive by fans outside of Korea, more often than not, in the past, the issue is brushed aside by entertainment companies.
Many fans believe this to be especially true about SM Entertainment, whose artists have made similar comments that were received negatively, only to have no or a slow response made to the reaction from fans.
While it would have been easy to let the issue slide, many fans are glad that SHINee took the necessary steps to acknowledge and apologize to those hurt by the comments.
There have been many, many times when #SHINee made me proud & today is one of them. I didn't expect an apology; even a Kpop newbie like me knows that when it comes to colorism/racism, an apology from a Kpop Idol with permission from a company like SM is rare. We, Shawols have pic.twitter.com/qNIMjkxnOe
— 🐳JustJinki🐰🐶🦊🐿🐥❤️ (@JustJinki) September 29, 2023
Honestly I’m surprised (but happy) we got this apology, one from taemin, and one from the main Shinee acct. I just figured SM would sweep this under the rug completely https://t.co/gcRIPg3aHm
— 👑Barbrie (@Brie__yonce) September 29, 2023
I dont think y’all realize how rare this is. How many idols have made terrible and even worse remarks recently and never apologize cause they have their fans to shield themselves from accountability? The fact that SHINee apologized? Huge. I’m proud of Shawols. We aren’t a cult.
— ₛₕₐₙ · ටff (@J16328121448) September 29, 2023
Sment and the shinee boy's not just sweeping this situation under the rug… Woah.
Its the bare minimum to apologize, but any tenored sment Stan can tell you how big this is.
I really hope the words and apologies ring true with future words and actions.
— SuruUH (@trees_fly) September 29, 2023