PETALING JAYA, Dec 24 — Korean singer Hong Jin-young has admitted to committing plagiarism on her master’s thesis back in 2009.
Maeil Business Newspaper reported that Chosun University is taking steps to revoke Hong’s master’s degree in trade and PhD in business administration as a result.
“We have made a final judgment of plagiarism regarding Hong Jin-young’s thesis and therefore we will begin taking administrative action for degree cancellation,” said a Chosun University representative, based on translations by Soompi.
Hong, 35, was engulfed in controversy in early November after news surfaced that her master’s thesis had received a score of 74 per cent on the plagiarism review site Copy Killer.
A report by Kukmin Ilbo stated that out of the 556 sentences in Hong's thesis, 124 sentences had more than six words that matched other sources along with 365 sentences that are suspected to be plagiarised.
Hong then released a statement branding the claims as “malicious gossip” and said that she had “organised (her) time, conferred with the professor, and did (her) absolute best to create the thesis.”
She also said she would willingly give up her master’s and doctoral degrees to quell anger amongst social media users.
Hong then changed her tune after a research integrity committee from Chosun University’s Ethics Committee made a tentative judgment of plagiarism on her master’s thesis on December 15.
Three days later, she posted a handwritten apology on Instagram and admitted to plagiarising material for her thesis.
Hong said that she denied the accusations at first as she was in the middle of promoting her new single Never Ever and was scared that her career as a musician would be ruined if she owned up.
She also said she accepts Chosun University’s decision and promised to repent over her wrongdoings.
“If a mistake is made, one must properly apologize and be chastised for it.
“Rather than reflecting, I was just busy making excuses. I wasn’t able to act in a mature or adult way. I made a mistake.
“I’ve also acted very disrespectfully toward the people who even now are working all day and night on their master’s and doctoral theses. I’m sorry,” said Hong to her 2.1 million followers.
Hong previously held a master’s degree in trade and a PhD in business administration from Chosun University.
She also has a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the same university.
The Love Battery singer made her debut in the music industry back in 2007 as a member of the short-lived girl group Swan before kicking off her career as a solo artiste in 2009.
She is best known for singing trot songs, a genre of music popular amongst the older generation in South Korea.