Jaebum: “Korea is Gay” 09.04.09
Park Jaebum (Jay Park), the leader of 2PM, caused a lot of controversy recently with some comments found on his Myspace dating back to 2005, when he first became a trainee. With comments left by Jaebum saying things like:
- “I wanna come back but iono sh*t”
- “Korea is gay… I hate Koreans”
- “yea man Korea is whack”
These comments Jaebum made caused outrage among netizens.
Jaebum Officially Apologizes 09.04.09
Hello everyone this is 2PM’s Park Jaebum. I would like to apologize on behalf of the comments I had made through Myspace a few years ago. I’m sorry.
As I tell all of you about how I felt that time, I also would like to apologize. In January of 2005, I came to Korea as a high school student. I was born in the States and I had insufficient knowledge of how Korea is. Being it my first time, I couldn’t communicate with others, my taste buds didn’t fit, and I barely knew the culture which I couldn’t understand. I felt as though I was treated coldly by the people around me as my family was left in the States. It was such a difficult situation where I didn’t even know if I was going to debut. Due to many hardships, things were getting too hard and I was getting lonely being homesick. I had the thoughts of quitting and I wanted to go back to my family in the States. The comment based on the Korea part: I wrote that because of my personal situation I was placed in and my emotions took over. I was too young and said things in the wrong words. I was too foolish, young, and facing difficulties where I made the mistake into turning my surroundings worse. Time passed by and I forgot that I had even written them. I am now embarrassed and truly sorry of those comments I had made. After that time, I had adjusted to everything and my thoughts have changed tremendously as I thank the people around me to get me to perform on stage in any situation. Those comments were made four years ago, but I am a different person now. To my family, Hottests, members of 2PM, and those who love 2PM, I am truly sorry. From now on, I hope that there will be no mistakes like this ever again. I will say it one more time that I am truly sorry.
Jaebum Leaves Nodaji 09.07.09
Park Jaebum of 2PM leaves TV show Nodaji following controversy over Myspace comments and is replaced by 2AM leader JoKwon.
Petition for Park Jaebum to Commit Suicide 09.07.09
Antis created a petition on Daum’s portal site Agora titled “Jaebum Should Commit Suicide” signed by over 3000 people with comments such as “Go back to America” and “I’m disgusted by you” before it was removed on September 7th. There was also a petition with over 6000 signatures entitled “Please Forgive Our Jaebum just this once”. Other petitions included demand for Jaebum’s deportation.
FT Island’s Leader Jonghun shows support 09.07.09
“Isn’t the world too scary? The past is the past…I understand the feeling of that person who is in trouble now…Fighting!”
Although it wasn’t stated who this comment was directed to, FT Island’s leader JongHun left this message of support on his Cyworld minihompy.The previous day, September 6, 2PM member WooYoung posted a message of support for Jaebum only to be bombarded with comments saying he was just covering up for his leader.
2PM, we’re not 7 members. We are One.”- WooYoung
2PM Jaebum QUITS! 09.07.09
Jaebum of 2PM recently announced he would quit the group over 2PM’s official fancafe.
“Hello, I’m 2PM’s Jaebum.
I’m sorry for giving you my last greeting through this letter.
I think it will be hard for me to see you all on stage because of my sorry heart.
I’m really sorry to everyone, and I’m even more sorry to the fans who have shown me love.
From today, I will leave 2PM.
2PM boys, I’m really sorry to the boys and I’m sorry I couldn’t be strong as a leader and a hyung and have to leave like this.
However, I hope you will be more cool and charming.
Again, I’m sorry.
JYP Entertainment confirmed this was true and Jaebum would be leaving the country later that day.
Future of 2PM 09.08.09
JYP Entertainment stated:
“It seems there will be issues with 2PM’s future activities. For now, Jaebum has stated that he wants to return to American as soon as possible. Because of Jaebum’s controversy, we have not made any decisions on 2PM’s future activities.”
Park Jaebum Leaves Korea 09.08.09
Park Jaebum officially left Korea, September 8, 2009, on a flight from Incheon Airport to Seattle. 500 fans showed up at the airport literally kicking, screaming and crying. All six remaining members are said to have cried and WooYoung fainted and had to be hospitalized.
Video of Jaebum Leaving Korea (Youtube)
Video of Jaebum Arriving in Seattle (Youtube)
Upon seeing his mother who was there to greet him, Jaebum started crying and kept repeating how sorry he was to his mother.
“I saw him at the airport. He showed his tears as soon as he saw his mom and while they were picking up the items, he kept on repeating the words ’sorry’ to his parents. As we watched, the scene was too sad. His mother wiped his tears. We couldn’t get too close because we didn’t want to break the family moment they were having.”
Park Jaebum’s Future Plans 09.08.09
“I’ll be back after studying more on music. I’m sorry.”
Park Jaebum stated:
“I’m just sorry to the fans who have shown so much love all this while and to the members who have followed and believed me. I’m so sorry for leaving this way. I’m decided to leave the team because as a leader I was not responsible and was a burden to my team instead.”
“I’m thankful to the fans who sent me all the way to the airport. I will live well and healthily in America. I will show a better side of me when I come back again.”
JYP’s Official Statement 09.09.09 (Supposedly a lucky day)
I have received much shock from what Jaebum wrote 4 years ago to his friend. Could it have been another celebrity, I myself would have felt much anger, resentment, and abandonment at his words. But I have known Jaebum for so long that those words are not surprising to me.
I already knew Jaebum was that kind of child.
When Jaebum first came to Korea 4 years ago, he was very rebellious and out of line. He laughed at Korea and belittled his fellow trainees, even going so far as to see me as ‘easy.’ I believe he thought that being a Korean celebrity was something to laugh at. He was a boy that wanted to b-boy in the streets. He fought with company employees, his dance instructors, and made threatening statements.
At times, he even said that he did not like JYP Ent., and would name another rival company, wishing to be sent there instead.
But what made us surprised even more was that when asked whether he had the guts to succeed, he said, “We could succeed if we don’t receive JYP’s music.”
At this point, employees wondered why we were keeping such a rebellious boy.
This is why his words four years ago are not suprising.
Then why would we keep such a kid?
I love rebellious children. Rather than children that are nice up front but are calculating and evil behind my back, I love children that are rebellious up to my face. I loved the fact that he showed his emotions straight up. It gave me hope. Who would have the guts to utter such words to my face? To say that his failure depended on my bad music? I thought that it was funny.
I believed that rebellious children had too much energy, just no place to express that energy. Or they never met someone that would trust them enough to show them the correct path. I wanted to help this person go on stage and feel the energy and joy. As long as I could instill within him trust and love.
To Jaebum, there are only two types of people. His family, and those that are not his family. He loves his family more than I could ever know. The reason he talks about money in interviews is not to buy nice clothes, it is to pay back his family, who always works hard for him. That’s why he ran the path of becoming a singer.
He was rebellious, but he excelled in training.
I saw this and thought, if only I could make him think of my company, his fellow trainees, this company as his family. if only.
So one day, I told him “Jaebum, someone is not a family only because they share the same blood. Please open your heart to them first. Then others can be your family too.”
Through these efforts, he began to change.. He began to hug his fellow trainees, start conversations with company employees, and began enjoying his time on the stage.
He finally began to express his energy on stage and began to shine through singing and dancing.
I chose him as the team’s leader. The rest of the six really believed in him and followed his lead.
He always trained with them and always thought of his younger members before him.
After his debut, he felt a change in his heart at the news reporters and attentions that showed him in a positive light and began showing affection.
He was touched at by the hearts of his fans.
Good people, good friends, good fans… good music.. through all this, he began to change.
But as things began to go up, like a sad movie scene, his entry from four years ago was released.
He was so sorry. To his 2PM brothers, to me, to his company employees, to his fans.. and to nobody more than to his Koreans.
He thought to himself that if he stayed any longer, his brothers would only get more hurt. He told me he did not have the confidence to get up on stage.
I knew what he was saying too well to hold him back.
If I were him, I would have made the same decision.
And so he left.
His last email to me said, “I’VE BEEN A LITTLE PUNK IN THE PAST. I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT IT WAS A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE. IT MADE ME A MUCH BETTER MUCH STRONGER PERSON AND I’M THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME. REAL TALK.”
My heart was ripping. It hurt. But knowing what Koreans would feel at his words, an immense sense of betrayal, I could not say anything.
But what I can do for him is to tell everyone that he showed on TV is not fake. He might have been rebellious but never fake. He never hid his true emotions. He was always up front, straight up… and that is something that can never change.
I know the public and the fans and I am listening to your opinions. But the most important thing is that Jaebum is not 2PM’s Park Jaebum but a child, a teenager Jaebum.
I genuinely wish for you all to hold his decision true.
I apologize once more.