Singers and Writers Have Mixed Opinions on IU’s “Zeze” Controversy


Even after IU apologized for the controversy surrounding the lyrics in her song “Zeze,” critics and supporters continue to debate about the interpretation of her lyrics. 

Writer Soh Jae Won wrote on his personal Twitter, “Even in art we respect taboos. If someone dragged my pure work of art across a boundary line and used ‘art’ as a justification, I would curse them. We must respect boundaries so that art can remain art.” 

In contrast, film critic and TV personality Heo Ji Woong took a supportive stance by criticizing the publishers of “My Sweet Orange Tree.” “It is not right for publishers to provide a strict guide for interpreting literature,” he said. “All literature is re-discovered through each person’s freedom and ability of interpretation. The character Zeze would not agree with his publishers.” The publishing company had previously released a statement criticizing IU’s lyrics. 

Novelist Lee Wae Soo was asked by netizens for his opinion on the issue. He responded cryptically, “When you go to an exhibition, there are signs saying ‘do not touch the displays.’ Why do you think that is?” 

Meanwhile, Professor Jin Joong Kwon took the most vocal stance on the issue. “Believing the idea that publishers can monopolize the interpretation of literature is ridiculous in this generation unless one is completely ignorant,” he said. “Even when an author writes a book, they should not talk about the interpretation. So why are publishers, people who are only selling books, saying we should do this or that? If you’re selling books, you should guard the knowledge and refinement of literature. The talk about fishnet stockings and poses… With what eyes are you seeing? Please stop thinking dirty thoughts.” 

From the music sphere, singer-songwriter Yoon Jong Shin expressed his own opinion. “When I see people experience thoughts and feelings listening to my music that I could not have imagined, it is a wonderful feeling. It is not misunderstanding or misinterpretation. It is the freedom of one’s own imagination. I can’t control the inside of people’s heads, including how they express themselves. I am simply grateful that they took the time to listen to my work.” 

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