Blackpink's Reality Show Episode Featuring Baby Panda Postponed After Chinese Netizens Complain
The last episode of Blackpink's reality show 24/365 has been put on hold post complaints for featuring a baby panda. The teaser for the final episode of 24/365 showed the K-pop group members touching a baby panda with their bare hands. Group member Jennie was seen cradling three-month-old panda cub Fu Bao, the first panda to be born on South Korean soil.
The video has angered Chinese social media users who accused Blackpink of violating regulations by coming into close contact with the pandas. Some people claimed that pandas require delicate care and there was a risk of transmitting infections. Critics added that only professional handlers should be allowed to touch the pandas and that the Blackpink members should have never been in physical contact with them in the first place.
The China Wildlife Conservation Association sent a letter to Everland, the theme park where the panda is being cared for, and demanded to stop non-professionals coming into contact with the baby panda and to censor showing such scenes on shows.
In response to the concerns that were raised, YG Entertainment released the following statement via Soompi, "Hello. It was decided that the last episode of BLACKPINK's 24/365 with BLACKPINK that was scheduled to be uploaded today on November 7 (Saturday) will be postponed. BLACKPINK's experience as panda keepers at Everland took place with professional veterinarians and keepers in attendance, and strict disease prevention and sanitation guidelines were followed."
"When BLACKPINK met the baby panda, all members were wearing sanitary gloves, masks, and protective clothing, and their hands and shoes were disinfected each time the scene changed. Nonetheless, to respect the recommendation of panda conservation experts who have stated that ‘non-professionals coming into contact with a baby panda can cause misunderstandings of a different dimension’ and to follow the convention of international cooperation, we have decided to postpone the premiere of the video. We thank all those who expressed their concern, and we ask for your unchanged love and interest in BLACKPINK and the panda.".