South Korean virtual model criticised for resembling celebs like Red Velvet’s Irene
SEOUL - A virtual influencer and honorary ambassador of the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) is receiving flak for looking a little too similar to South Korean stars like Irene of K-pop girl group Red Velvet.
According to a report by Korea JoongAng Daily in July, KTO said the model they created, named Lizzie Yeo, was 22 years old and “has been introducing Korean culture and tourist attractions online since last December”.
Yeo reportedly cost approximately 800 million won (S$793,000) to produce.
The report added there are about 150 such virtual characters in South Korea who have appeared in commercials and music videos.
According to K-pop news outlet Allkpop, some netizens had already noticed then that Yeo bore some resemblance to celebrities such as Irene and South Korean singer-actress Kwon Nara, who are both 31.
On Wednesday, it was the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea’s Culture, Sports and Tourism committee’s turn to weigh in.
An unnamed committee member was quoted by Allkpop as saying: “They look the same. There are serious concerns over one’s portrait rights here.
“The character resembles Irene and Kwon Nara too closely. (It) was apparently created with features which were deemed as popular among the MZ (millennials and Gen Z) generations, but (it) is creating unrealistic expectations about beauty.”