AOA’s former member, Kwon Mina eventually deactivated her SNS account after having a war with Internet users about her smoking controversy.
On September 6, Kwon Mina uploaded a photo showing her and her non-celebrity boyfriend in a hotel room. Recently, the former AOA member revealed that she is dating a new boyfriend. The couple went to the hotel to celebrate the boyfriend’s birthday, and they took a selfie with a couple pose happily.
However, what caused controversies was the burning cigarette in Kwon Mina’s hand. Most hotels ban indoor smoking in order to prevent fire. Internet users flooded Kwon Mina’s post with comments, and a netizen expressed his suspicion, “The hotel does not allow smoking, right?”; then, Kwon Mina directly replied, “No, they do not. It’s a smoking room”. Another netizen commented, “4-star hotels or upscale hotels usually ban smoking inside, so I think this is a motel.” and Kwon Mina answered, “It’s a hotel”.
When people pointed out that the hotel Kwon Mina visited was a hotel in Yongsan-gu, Seoul and all the rooms were non-smoking, controversies arose even more intense. Contrary to Kwon Mina’s claim that she booked a smoking room, suspicions of her telling a lie were raised after it was revealed that the hotel only allows smoking in designated external spaces.
Amid the storm of criticism, she deleted the controversial photo in which she was holding a burning cigarette. However, people were curious as why she left the one with the cigarette that hadn’t been burned. Since then, netizens have continued to demand a clarification from Kwon Mina. They expressed their disagreement with her action by asking, “What if people like you set the hotel on fire?”. A netizen even called the hotel to make a complaint and reported the case by sending these photos to the hotel through e-mail as evidence. Therefore, the hotel replied that they didn’t know about the incident and thanked the netizen for reporting it.
In the end, on September 7, Kwon Mina posted her hotel reservation along with an explanation. In the reservation, her name was identified, and among the list of “preferred rooms”, there was a check in the “smoking-free room” category. Kwon Mina explained, “It was written like this when I made the hotel reservation on the website, so I still think this is a smoking-free room.”
She added, “If this is not a smoking-free room, I will pay the fine and clean up every mess that I made. In addition, it is true that no one informed me about the ban on smoking or the non-smoking rooms.”
However, netizens continued to give Kwon Mina harsh criticisms: “That hotel is a non-smoking hotel. That’s not the selection box that you could choose the type of room. It was just a line to note that if any hotel has smoking rooms, the rooms can be designated for smoking.”, “It’s all In the hotel regulations. You obviously did violate the law”, “Hotels these days still let people smoke? Motels even ban smoking”. Due to the pressure from the public’s rage, Kwon Mina deactivated her Instagram account.