K-Pop Star Jaejoong Faces Backlash for Making COVID-19 April Fools’ Joke

K-Pop Star Jaejoong Faces Backlash for Making COVID-19 April Fools’ Joke
Bryan Ke
By Bryan Ke
April 2, 2020
Jaejoong from the K-pop group JYJ is under fire for his April Fools’ joke in which he falsely claimed that he tested positive for COVID-19.
The now-deleted joke was posted Wednesday on Instagram where Jaejoong, whose real name is Kim Jae-joong, told his nearly 2 million followers that he tested positive for the virus, according to the New York Times.
His fans were shocked and concerned as several news outlets and K-pop fan sites covered the news.
Less than an hour later, he confessed that he pulled an April Fools’ Day prank, which resulted in widespread anger from his fan base.
Some of the artist’s upcoming projects might also be canceled because of his joke.
Jaejoon, who is in Japan promoting his newly released single, was supposed to appear on NHK Radio’s “Furuya Masayuki’s PopA” radio show in Japan on April 1 as a regular DJ, but the station decided to change their lineup that day, Soompi reported.
“Jaejoong had been scheduled to appear, but due to personal circumstances there will be different content on the show today,” said on its website.
His reality TV show “Travel Buddies,” which is scheduled to begin airing on TV on April 4, may also see a cancellation following the April Fools’ Day joke, according to AllKpop.
However, the final director’s cut episode of the reality TV show will still be released through Lifetime Korea’s YouTube channel.
Jaejoong was also set to appear on TV Asahi’s “Music Station” on April 3. But on April 2, his official Japanese website announced that “due to various personal circumstances, he has postponed his appearance.”
He also will not make an appearance on the NHK music show “The Covers” which was scheduled for April 5.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said it is now looking into the matter and discussing a potential punishment for the artist.
“We are currently looking into the case regarding Kim Jaejoong,” the KCDC said via Soompi. “It involves the spreading of false information, so we’re discussing how exactly the punishment will be carried out.”
“It’s possible to punish those who are reported for inciting disorder by continually making malicious prank phone calls to the epidemic prevention authorities, however this case is something done by a celebrity on social media, and so it seems more internal discussion is required,” they explained.
Feature Image via @jj_1986_jj
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