Minji’s Kalguksu Incident: A Misunderstood Comment

NEWJEANS’ Minji recently faced backlash over a misunderstood comment about kalguksu, a traditional Korean noodle dish. This incident, known as “Minji’s Kalguksu Controversy,” began during a live broadcast on January 2, 2023, leading to her apology on Phoning.

Minji’s Apology and Reflection

Minji expressed her gratitude for the love and interest since her debut. She acknowledged that her tone and attitude during the live broadcast might have caused discomfort. Minji explained her unfamiliarity with kalguksu, attributing it to her picky eating habits. She reflected on the incident, emphasizing her learning and commitment to being more careful with her words.

The Origin of the Controversy

The controversy started when Minji, during a conversation about various noodles with streamer ChimChakMan, wondered aloud, “What is kalguksu?” Despite knowing what it was, she had never tried it and was contemplating its taste and texture. This innocent remark was misinterpreted, leading to unwarranted criticism.

Netizens’ Reaction and Misinterpretation

Some netizens accused Minji of pretending to be a wealthy, foreign-educated girl unfamiliar with common Korean dishes. They questioned how someone from Gangwon-do could be unaware of kalguksu. These accusations escalated, prompting Minji to address them in a livestream on January 2, 2024. She clarified her statement, but her tone was perceived as harsh, further fueling the controversy.

Minji’s Response and Hanni’s Intervention

In her response, Minji questioned the absurdity of not knowing about kalguksu and its varieties. Her fellow group member Hanni attempted to lighten the mood following Minji’s assertive remarks. However, Minji’s use of English and her tone were criticized, adding to the misunderstanding.

Hope for Resolution

As time passed, the situation worsened with more people joining the criticism. Almost a year later, Minji issued a heartfelt apology, hoping to put the controversy to rest. Her clarification aimed to clear the air and move beyond the incident.

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