‘Twenty-Five, Twenty-One’ star Kim Tae-ri apologizes to fans following ‘free labor’ controversy

‘Twenty-Five, Twenty-One’ star Kim Tae-ri apologizes to fans following ‘free labor’ controversy

/ 05:43 PM May 24, 2023

Kim Tae-ri. Image: Instagram/@kimtaeri_official

Kim Tae-ri. Image: Instagram/@kimtaeri_official

Kim Tae-ri, best known for her lead roles in “Twenty Five, Twenty One” and “Mr. Sunshine,” apologized for requesting fans to provide subtitles for her vlog, which drew flak as it was seen as alleged “free labor.”

Tae-ri earned the ire of netizens after requesting fans to help in adding subtitles to her vlog series, “So This Is the Place,” through a launch of her new subtitling project on her Instagram last Monday, May 22.


The project, which has since been archived from her page, included a Google Form where fans can volunteer to translate her vlogs from Korean into their respective languages, per entertainment platform NME.


NME, while citing Koreaboo’s report, also noted that the form didn’t contain any forms of paid compensation from the actress or her label Management MMM.

Following the backlash, the “Mr. Sunshine” star said sorry to her fans in a lengthy Instagram post on Wednesday, May 24, saying her vlog was initially planned to “repay” her fans’ love.

“I’m sorry for the trouble I have caused. I’d like to express my apologies to everyone I made feel uncomfortable. As I was worried that this might cause further discomfort to many people, I was cautious and delayed in addressing this issue. I am writing this to convey my apologies to those who may be disappointed in me,” she began.

“I planned my vlog as a way to repay the love I have received from my fans, and I have been involved in every step of the process, from filming to editing to, at present, the English subtitles. I thought that this might be a more complete way to repay my fans,” she continued.

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Citing her “focus” to complete “something meaningful,” Tae-ri then admitted that her request was a failure to “approach the most important issue with caution.”


“Since the video was released, fans from various countries, not just English-speaking ones, have requested subtitles in their own languages. Seeing the different languages under the video made me think about how great it would be if they could enjoy the video with subtitles in their own language,” she explained.

The actress also pointed out that she shouldn’t have approached her fans in a way that made it appear she was “asking for talent donations.”

“But because I was so focused on the idea of completing something meaningful with my fans, I failed to approach the most important issue with caution. Clearly, I fell short,” she said.

“I should not have approached my fans as if I was asking for talent donations. It was a clear mistake, and I deeply reflect on the fact that I was not aware of it myself,” she added.

Tae-ri also maintained that a “sincere apology” is her priority, as she noted that an “apology email” was sent to fans who submitted their applications to her label.

“I apologize to everyone who may have felt uncomfortable due to my short-sighted thoughts and actions. I realize that a sincere apology is more important than anything else. I sent an apology email to everyone who so kindly offered to help with the translation work. Once again, I sincerely apologize,” she said.

The actress also apologized in her native language in a separate post.

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Tae-ri gained widespread recognition after starring in the film “The Handmaiden” in 2016, which competed for the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

The actress also starred in the popular Korean series “Twenty Five, Twenty One” and “Mr. Sunshine.”  /ra


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TAGS: K-Dramas, Korean actors

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