Four major South Korean entertainment companies apologised on behalf of their artists after a website reported that four K-pop stars had visited clubs in Seoul’s Itaewon on April 25.
The companies confirmed Korean tabloid Dispatch’s report that among those who visited the clubs were BTS’s Jungkook, Seventeen’s Mingyu, NCT’s Jaehyun, and ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo and apologised on their behalf for breaking social distancing rules.
Reuters reported last Friday that around 150 cases had been linked to the outbreak from the clubs in Itaewon nightlife district, including clubgoers as well as secondary infections in family members, co-workers, and students.
Jungkook, Mingyu, Jaehyun, and Cha Eun Woo did not show symptoms of COVID-19 and tested negative for the virus, the companies said.
Agencies for Jungkook, Jaehyun, and Cha Eun Woo sought to emphasise that the artists had not visited the club that was the source of the cases and their visit took place one week before the first case was confirmed in the area.
These are the four companies’ statements as quoted by entertainment site Allkpop.
Big Hit Entertainment’s statement on Jungkook:
“This is our statement on Jungkook visiting Itaewon.
First, we’d like to bring up how various media outlets had called us about whether Jungkook visited Itaewon or not last week, and how our handling of the situation was problematic.
It is true that Jungkook visited Itaewon. He did not go to the problematic place where the patient in early May had the confirmed case, and he went about a week beforehand. He followed the government regulations and voluntarily got checked for Corona-19, and we decided that it was not our place to interfere in his personal life.
However, we have no excuse that we placed the artist’s personal life before we were able to emphasize the importance of social distancing. We bow our head in apology.