#9. Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie) Cover
Girls’ Generation is a nine-member South Korean pop girl group formed in 2007. They are currently the top selling Korean girl band in the world. In the summer of 2009, the group took part in a controversial photo shoot with a military theme. One of the pictures from the shoot was selected for the band’s mini-album cover Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie). Soon after the album’s release, controversy erupted over the cover. In the picture, a plane can be seen which many people felt was a direct replica of Japan’s A6M Zero fighter plane, which was used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in World War II. People also noticed that the military outfits, medals, and hats worn by the girls resemble that of the Third Reich. In one example, the eagle emblem used on the girls’ hats greatly resembles the Nazi Party emblem. In response to the accusations, SM Entertainment stated: “We used military icons on the album cover, but it was interpreted and understood in a way we didn’t expect, so we are planning to delete it and put an icon of the South Korean supersonic jet T-50.” In the future, Girls’ Generation should be more careful about using images that were taken from Nazi and Kamikaze insignia. Regardless of the controversy, Sowoneul Malhaebwa (Genie) reached #1 less than 24 hours after it release.