Korean actress Kim Tae-ri personally apologized for sparking controversy by allegedly exploiting fans' talents.

On May 23, Kim Tae-ri took to her social media and wrote, "First and foremost, I apologize for causing worry. I want to express my apologies to everyone who may have been upset. I was late in addressing this out of fear and caution that I might exacerbate the feelings of many people. I write this message with a heart full of apologies for those who have been disappointed in me due to this incident."

This statement comes in response to criticism arising from her recruitment of fans to contribute subtitles in various languages for her vlog "Is Here There?" The call for fans to help was positioned as an opportunity to give back, but many took issue with how the task was presented as a "gift of talent" and that the contributors would get their IDs included in the video, seemingly suggesting that this was a grand favor.

Although the long explanation she provided seemed to suggest a romanticized view of fans translating for love of her content, it essentially boiled down to using skilled fans as unpaid translators. Kim Tae-ri even released a formal application form, which ignited a larger debate around exploitation under the guise of voluntary contributions, also known as "passion pay". Her usage of the term "gift of talent" was seen as inappropriate, as it had no relevance to the original meaning of the term, which implies the voluntary offering of one's skills for public or charitable causes.

As the criticism on various community platforms intensified, the original post was deleted from Kim Tae-ri's social media. Managementmmm, her agency, posted an apology on its own social media, sparking even more outrage. In an apparent attempt to avoid tarnishing the actress's image, they even mentioned the non-profit nature of the vlog, which some interpreted as diverting the issue.

Managementmmm stated, "No profit is made from any part of the 'Is Here There?' series, including advertisements. It was not our intention to relate anyone's feelings to profit-making," adding, "We sincerely apologize for causing discomfort to many due to our shortcomings."

Despite some fans expressing their willingness to help, it was generally seen as an unacceptable situation. Relying on blind love and assuming 'they will enjoy whatever they do with me' is a dangerously flawed mindset. It remains to be seen how Kim Tae-ri's sincerity, now committed to reflection and rectification, will be manifested in future actions.

Kim Tae-ri's agency apologizes for 'passion pay' controversy

Amid controversy over encouraging so-called "passion pay," actress Kim Tae-ri and her agency apologized, acknowledging potential misunderstandings. On May 23, managementmmm stated, "All video content from Kim Tae-ri's vlog 'Is Here There?' generates no profit," adding, "Our request for assistance with subtitle translations stemmed only from a desire for more international fans to enjoy the videos. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused."

Kim Tae-ri had previously been criticized by some fans for exploiting "passion pay" when she asked for translators to help subtitle her videos in various languages under a "gift of talent" scheme.