On March 6, the 22-year-old Chinese actress Lareina Song Zu’er unintentionally became involved in a plagiarism scandal after her studio shared a series of shots from her recent photoshoot. Netizens noticed that the background used for one photo is a blatant copy of South Korean singer-actor Baekhyun‘s album cover for “City Lights” except the words have been changed to Lareina.
Lareina’s shot even retained the watermarks from SM Entertainment, the agency that manages the boy band EXO which Baekhyun is a member of.
As her studio learned about the issue, their action of removing the photo-in-question without issuing a formal statement in response to the accusations did not sit well with netizens.
On the same night, photographer Xu Chi issued an apology to say that the background applied to Lareina’s photo post-processing was plagiarized from Mr. Byun Baekhyun’s album. Xu Chi takes responsibility and gives a formal apology to Byun Baekhyun, Lareina Song and both their fans for the trouble it has caused.
Lareina Song’s studio said that they removed the plagiarized photo at once and replaced it with the original photograph taken of Lareina Song.
Later that night, Lareina Song studio alsos issued a formal apology, “Apologies. Today, the team of outsourced photographers that the studio worked with provided a template plagiarized from Baekhyun’s album cover and it was mistakenly distributed by us due to our lax review measures. The person responsible has apologized to all parties affected by the incident through his personal Weibo. The studio has already replaced the photo. The studio hereby solemnly apologizes to SM Entertainment and Mr. Byun Baekhyun. We will strictly enforce a better work process to prevent such incidents from happening again. We apologize to Ms. Song Zu’er at the same time, because the staff’s lack of prudence has caused harm, we will deeply reflect on it and continue to improve. Thanks to the majority of netizens for their supervision and criticism of Song Zu’er Studio”