Red Velvet‘s Irene is a stunning visual whose beauty is well-known by K-Pop fans.
So fans were surprised when they noticed Virtual Influencer and Korea Tourism Organization model Yeo Lizzie has an uncanny resemblance to Irene.
Netizens were confused by the decision to have a virtual ambassador so closely resemble a celebrity since they believed it might have been wiser to “appoint Irene as an ambassador” instead.
- “They just need to appoint Irene as an ambassador, why are they doing this?”
- “I think Irene must feel really bad ㅜㅜ”
- “It’s just Irene, seriously…”
And now fans of Irene are trending hashtags like #SMProtectIreneNow in hopes that SM Entertainment will make a statement about Irene’s likeness being used.
“#SMProtectIRENENow” is still trending and now successfully entered the Music topic with over 20k tweets! 👏
— IRENE (아이린) NEWS (@Baejoohyunews) October 24, 2022
Although the use of Irene’s likeness as the virtual ambassador has not been confirmed, fans believe it is irrefutably apparent, especially given how big of a trending topic it has become. Fans are especially concerned that the use of Irene’s likeness was done without her consent.
I hope you're prepared for things like this @SMTOWNGLOBAL since you like pushing kwangya.
The AI excuse of KTO is too lame when anyone could see the uncanny resemblance to Irene.
You wanted to end her career then using her for free promo? Irene has had enough of this bs. https://t.co/y01AEHD1LB
— H! (@RVLreve) October 19, 2022
Even though deepfake is not used in sexual way in this case, but this kind of method still unexceptable for using it without permission. It's a shame if you don't do anything. @SMTOWNGLOBAL@RVsmtown Proctect you artist!!#SM은_아이린을_보호해주세요#SMProtectIRENENow pic.twitter.com/erkCpyfn4B
— 𝘠𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘉𝘢𝘦 ◡̈ (too tired) (@uribaeju) October 24, 2022
And are demanding answers and action from SM Entertainment regarding the situation.
We demand that SM takes swift action to take care of this issue. We hope for an explanation on any possible involvement with the KTO's tourism campaign
— Pizza Boy | 피자 남자 (@PzzBoy) October 24, 2022
At this time SM Entertainment has not released a statement.
You can read more about the virtual ambassador here.