Korean-American rapper San E came under fire for allegedly sexually harassing Red Velvet’s Irene last night. The incident happened during Ansan Friendship Super Show, a concert to celebrate the bilateral ties between South Korean and Vietnam, which Irene, San E and GOT7’s Jackson hosted.
During the show, the rapper had placed his elbow on Irene’s shoulder after she waved at her fans. The girl group member, who was caught unaware, looked shocked by his actions before awkwardly trying to laugh it off. Fans accused San E of overstepping his boundaries and invaded her personal space while doing that.
Okay. Irene really hates what San.E did. Why did he dare invade her personal space like that??? ?? pic.twitter.com/RSlgzZQlcm
— patto (@mxworldtour) October 15, 2017
The most important thing to note was, judging by her reaction, he hadn’t asked for her permission to do so, which makes his actions not OK, regardless of whether he was just hamming it for the camera.
Fans also noticed San E pointing at Irene while rapping sexually explicit lyrics to his song, “Sour Grapes”. The lyrics read:
I’ll give u a clap I admit that u are my style
Ur smile is so beautiful I was about to picture u
For stupid guys, if we scan you roughly,
They will make a loan for you everyone
Male followers for your Instagram look at her picture, auto-reaction to make a tent
So bald as a sexually advanced country
No cover No mosaic of course no no
Lyrics translation: ilyricsbuzz
멍청한 사내놈들에게 스캐너 한 번 쭉 훑어만 줘도 널 위해 대출하려 할걸 족족 < 가사 부분에 삿대질 pic.twitter.com/yqO1fOQf9s
— B⃣ (@borasek__) October 15, 2017
The Internet is furious over San E’s actions and said that they constituted sexual harassment.
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Sexual harassment does not only constitute physical form, but also non-physical ones, including verbal abuse and lewd remarks.
However, some fans have come to San E’s defense, claiming that his actions were not malicious and were done in good humour, while others pointed out that Irene seemed OK with it as she continued to talk with him after that.
It’s important to highlight that whether his actions were done as a joke, touching a woman inappropriately and without her permission is never OK.
Sexual harassment is a real problem, whether in Hollywood or in the workplace. In Hollywood, many celebrities have spoken out against film producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual assault and harassment. Singer Björk revealed in a Facebook post last night that she was sexually harassed by a Danish director.
i am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a danish director ….
Regardless of how “serious” you think the problem is, sexual harassment IS sexual harassment. It’s not a problem that should be laughed off or swept under the rug.
If you know someone who is being sexually harassed or assaulted, call the police or the AWARE helpline at 1800 777 5555 or the Sexual Assault Care Centre at 6779 0282.
Images: TPG/Click Photos