Giselle of the K-pop group Aespa has issued an apology for lip-syncing a racial slur.
A clip of three members of the group, Giselle, Karina, and Ningning, surfaced over the weekend, causing the controversy. The three girls are singing and dancing to SZA’s “Love Galore” as it plays in the background. The clip is from a behind-the-scenes shoot of Savage – aespa’s debut EP, released on October 5.
In the clip, Giselle leans towards the camera to lip-sync the n-word while all three women dance. SM Entertainment has since deleted the original video, but the clip was widely disseminated on social media like TikTok and Twitter. Giselle’s name trended on Twitter over the weekend, with many fans asking for the situation to be addressed.
Giselle issued a statement via the official aespa Twitter account on October 25. “I would like to apologize for mouthing the wrongful word from the lyrics of the song I was playing on-site. I had no intentions of doing it with any purpose and got carried away when one of my favorite artist’s song was played and I sincerely apologize. I will continue to learn to be more conscious of my actions,” the singer says.
The Giselle apology for the video comes after the group has experienced a massive sales success for their album.
It opened at #2 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales charts, selling 17,500 copies according to MRC Data. By appearing inside the Top Album Sales chart, Aespa becomes the fourth K-pop girl group with that distinction. Blackpink, Twice, and Itzy are the other three acts to achieve the feat.
Blackpink remains the most successful all-female Asian act in the US. Their debut album ‘The Album’ topped the charts, and before that, their EP Kill This Love reached the #10 spot. Blackpink remains the only K-pop girl group to break into the top ten album sales charts twice – for now. For Aespa, Savage debuted at #20 on the Billboard 200 – which combines sales and streaming activity.