Girls’ Generation’s “FOREVER 1” MV Director Apologizes For Plagiarizing Design From Disney

The director took full responsibility.

Girls’ Generation has come together after five years to release their seventh album, Forever 1, and to celebrate their 15th anniversary.

(From left to right) Girls’ Generation’s Yuri, Tiffany, Seohyun, Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Taeyeon, Sunny, and Yoona | @GirlsGeneration/Twitter

Along with the release of their album, they filmed a new music video for their title track, “FOREVER 1,” and will appear on a music show together for the first time in five years.

Girls’ Generation during their 2017 “Holiday” promotions

The “FOREVER 1” music video was filled with touching tributes to Girls’ Generation’s 15-year history and references to what the members have been doing in their individual activities over the last five years.

In the opening scene of the music video, the members are all standing on a colorful parade float with a logo celebrating their 15th anniversary behind them.

| @d4myeon/Tumblr

Girls’ Generation’s 15th-anniversary logo from the “FOREVER 1” music video | theqoo

It was recently discovered that the logo was plagiarized from Tokyo DisneySea’s 15th-anniversary logo, celebrating The Year of Wishes from 2016 to 2017.

Tokyo DisneySea’s 15th-anniversary logo | theqoo

| theqoo

As the images comparing the two logos began to circulate, the director behind Girls’ Generation’s “FOREVER 1” music video, Shin Hee Won, came forward with an apology for using the design and an apology to the Girls’ Generation members for causing the controversy.

In his apology, he admitted he used the design without double-checking the source after finding several reference designs to use for the logo. He took responsibility for planning, directing, and designing the music video details and promised to be more careful moving forward.

Hello, this is Shin Hee Won. I directed the music video for Girls’ Generation’s “Forever 1.” First of all, I’d like to apologize to the members of Girls’ Generation as well as SM Entertainment for causing this controversy over one of the set designs used in the “Forever 1″ music video. Since I’ve been contacted about the music video, I’ve been involved in not only planning and directing it but also designing the details of it, like picking out props. I’m terribly ashamed of myself and regretful that I ended up plagiarizing. When putting together the set for the group’s 15th-anniversary parade, I looked up inspirations for the number logo design. I found several references, and when I came across an image that I believed to be suitable, I decided to use it without double-checking the source. Today, I learned that the design belongs to Disney Japan’s 15th-anniversary logo. And I would like to sincerely apologize for using the design without researching more about its copyright or seeking to get permission to reference it. Going forward, I will do better research and be more vigilant when producing-directing so that something like this never, ever happens again. Finally, I apologize again for causing this problem for Girls’ Generation, SM Entertainment, and the girl group’s fans who watched the MV.

— Director Shin Hee Won

Shin Hee Won’s apology | theqoo

At this time, SM Entertainment has not released a statement regarding the matter.

Girls' Generation