“Pants Controversy” DJ Soda receives an apology after being refused to board the plane

DJ Soda (real name Hwang So-hee, 34) received an apology from American Airlines for being kicked out of the plane because of her pants.

Jang Pil-jun, director of DJ Soda‘s agency Company Blue, told Maeil Business Star Today on May 9th, “We have received an apology mail (regarding the case of DJ Soda) from American Airlines and ended everything on good terms.”

DJ Soda

On April 26th, DJ Soda announced on SNS that she was suddenly kicked out of the plane right before departure by American Airlines when going from New York to LA. This situation happened because of the English swear words printed on the pants she was wearing. DJ Soda said, “I said I would change my pants in the bathroom, but I was rejected, and I was able to board the plane only after I changed my pants to inside out right at the entrance of the plane where everyone saw me.”

“It’s the first time that I’ve been kicked out of a plane during my 8 years of going on performance tours,” said DJ Soda. “It is also the first time for me to take off my pants in front of everyone. Moreover, I cannot believe that this happened in the United States, a country that respects individual freedom. I don’t think this should ever happen to anyone again,” she said, declaring a boycott against American Airlines.


According to DJ Soda’s side, American Airlines sent an apology email to her on April 28th, two days after the incident.

“We expect our team to provide courteous professional services at all time, treating all customers in a fair and consistent manner,” said the American Airlines customer relations representative. “I truly regret any inconsistency Ms. Hwang encountered and sincerely apologize for any lack of professionalism,” they apologized. However, they said, “This type of behavior does not represent the core values of American Airlines.”


“We will not allow or condone rude or disparate treatment of our customers, or our employees, due to race, religion, ethnicity or any discriminatory factor. The events that happened are being investigated and we will take appropriate steps with our team to address Ms. Hwang’s concerns. While we do not share or make public the results of these internal investigations, through training and counseling, along with any disciplinary action as needed, we’ll make sure there is no misunderstanding.”

DJ Soda

American Airlines, however, apologized for the way it treated DJ Soda, but again pointed out its dress code.America Airlines works hard to foster an environment of respect for everyone on board, and, as such, ask that customers dress appropriately. Offensive clothings are not allowed,” they added.

DJ Soda

Regarding this incident, director Jang from Soda’s agency said, “After the incident, many in Korea criticized her, ‘Why did you have to wear pants with such offensive words?’ But she has used American Airlines several times in that clothing before, but there was no problem. Of course, we agree that DJ Soda herself was lacking in the part that she did not recognize in advance that her clothes could offend others.”

“In one part of our complaint, we have said that it would have been fine enough if they asked DJ Soda to change her pants, but the staff kicked her out of the plane without any explanation,” he stressed and added, “We have received an apology mail, so we won’t pursue this any further.”


There have been several occasions when U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, refused to allow passengers to board their planes due to their clothings. In July last year, a Turkish female bodybuilder was not allowed to board by American Airlines while wearing a bra top and hot pants, because “the airline staff called my outfit ‘naked’. I’m insulted that I wasn’t allowed on the plane because I wore hot pants.” In January this year, the winners of “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” in 2012 were not able to board because they wore revealing. In 2017, United Airlines refused to board two teenage girls in leggings, sparking controversy.

There are also cases in which racism is suspected. In 2019, professional gamer Ryu Je-hong was forced to move without prior explanation while using American Airlines. When asked why, the attendant only said, “Do you want to get off the plane?” without a convincing explanation. In addition, a Chinese international student was refused to board in the past, and when he said he would take a photo for evidence, the captain mocked him by making a V sign with his finger, causing criticism.

DJ Soda

Meanwhile, DJ Soda, who made her official debut in 2016, has been active throughout Asia after signing a record distribution contract with the global record label Warner Music in 2018.


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