South Korean DJ Hwang So-hee, known by her stage name DJ Soda, revealed in a series of social media posts that she was openly groped by audience members during a music event in Japan.
Writing in Korean, Japanese and English, the 35-year-old artist said she was “shocked and scared” by the incident that took place at the Osaka Music Circus Festival in Sennan, Osaka prefecture, on Sunday.
“To communicate more closely with the fans, I always get closer to the fans at the end of the gig,” she explained in her emotional post. “At that moment, several people suddenly touched my chest and I was helplessly sexually harassed by them.”
DJ Soda shared photos of the incident that show fans reaching across security fencing and touching her arms and chest. She noted that while the moment scared her, she opted to finish her performance for the fans who “liked me and also cried a lot.”
“I’ve never ever experienced anything like this in my 10 years as a DJ,” she added. “I’m so embarrassed and humiliated that I can’t believe this incident has happened. I think it’s going to be hard to get close to the fans from the stage.”
While the majority of commenters expressed their support and empathy for DJ Soda, some users blamed her for wearing revealing outfits.
“I agree. it’s very sad that this happened. But, on the flip side, you brought this on yourself, too,” a commenter wrote. “When you put yourself out there like that, you also invite the creeps into your world. Please stay safe, keep your distance, and dress a little more modestly. Just my opinion.”
“Beware, be careful what you wear😂,” another stated. “Haha. Look you [sic] self.”
“It’s okay,” chimed another. “It’s ur own risk when u perform a sexuality [sic].”
Amid the victim-blaming comments, DJ Soda took a firm stance against those who attempt to attribute the incident to her choice of clothing. “No matter what clothes I wear, sexual harassment and assault cannot be justified,” she asserted in a follow-up post. “My body is mine, not someone else’s. I like to wear revealing clothes and I will continue to wear them.”
This is not the first time DJ Soda has faced challenges related to her public image. In 2019, she called out French DJ Hugel for making inappropriate comments about her body. Last year, she also claimed in a social media post that she was “harassed” before being kicked off an American Airlines flight for wearing pants deemed “offensive.”
In an official statement released on Tuesday, TryHard Japan, the event’s organizer, revealed that they are now in the process of identifying the attackers to pursue legal action.
“While providing maximum support to DJ Soda, who was victimized, we intend to identify the individuals responsible for this despicable crime and take legal measures, both civil and criminal,” the company stated in an Instagram post.