Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Rolling Stone mislabels nationality of Taiwan's TWICE star

Magazine describes TWICE members as 'Korean and Japanese,' ignores requests to make correction

  6335
Chou Tzu-yu (fourth from right). (Rolling Stone screenshot)

Chou Tzu-yu (fourth from right). (Rolling Stone screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Rolling Stone has failed to correct an article in which it left out the fact that one of the members of the K-pop girl group TWICE is Taiwanese, rather than South Korean or Japanese — despite a torrent of complaints from Taiwanese fans.

On May 19, Rolling Stone posted an article titled "TWICE makes light-night live debut with 'The Feels' on 'Colbert'" noting that this was the first time the group had performed on a U.S. late-night show. It also pointed out the group's two sold-out shows at the Banc of California Stadium were the first time an all-female K-pop group had performed in a U.S. stadium.

However, the article incorrectly described the nine-woman group as being made up of "both Korean and Japanese" members. What quickly drew the attention of TWICE fans was the author failed to mention that Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜), known by her fans as Tzuyu, is from Tainan, Taiwan, and has been with the group since its debut in 2015.

On May 19, Rolling Stone posted a tweet announcing the K-pop group's performance of "The Feels" on "The Late Show," drawing 24,900 likes, 5,002 retweets, and 54 quote tweets. However, a large number of the latter consisted of fans and fan pages explaining that Chou is a Taiwan citizen.

In 2015, Chou introduced herself as Taiwanese and held the Taiwan flag, sparking the "flag incident," resulting in her being barred from Chinese TV and losing endorsements from Chinese companies. She then issued a stilted, scripted apology in which she claimed to have "always felt proud to be Chinese," and apologized to "friends on both sides of the strait for the hurt that I have caused."

Her apology sparked a massive backlash in Taiwan just 24 hours before the 2016 Taiwanese presidential election. Many argue that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was boosted by an estimated 1.34 million young voters who said they took to the polls or changed their vote because of Chou's controversial apology video.

As of publication, Rolling Stone and the author have ignored requests by Taiwan News to make a correction.