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Designer behind controversial GS25 poster, accused of ‘misandry,’ breaks silence

GS25's promotional image was accused by some consumers of being
GS25's promotional image was accused by some consumers of being "misandrist." (GS25)
The designer behind a controversial image used by South Korean convenience store chain GS25 -- accused of being “misandrist” -- has apologized to customers, store owners and colleagues for the inconvenience her work caused but rejected claims that she was part of a group known for mocking men online.

In a post uploaded on Blind, an anonymous forum designed for employees of a corporation to discuss internal affairs, the designer, who remains anonymous, said she was breaking her silence as the situation continued to worsen.

“I’m a working mom who loves her son and husband, and I really wanted to clarify that I’m far from misandry and I don’t support any particular ideologies,” she said.

A representative of GS25 has confirmed to The Korea Herald that the post was from the person who designed the poster, a member of the company’s marketing team.

The convenience store chain came under fire over a promotional image for its camping items, in which a hand picks up a Vienna sausage. Critics, mostly men, saw the depiction as a mockery of the size of male genitalia.

The image was also accused of resembling the logo of Megalia -- a controversial online community that closed in 2017, prompting CEO Cho Yoon-sung to issue an apology.

Addressing the controversy surrounding the design, the designer said she used available images that had hands in them without knowing that the pinching gesture could be interpreted as “a symbol of Megalia or feminism.”

The design also faced criticism for depicting a hand picking up a hot sausage, rather than a fork.

In response, the designer said she’d had “no particular intentions” and had just used sources that were available at that time.

The company said it has launched an internal probe into the matter and “measures will be taken to prevent similar incidents from recurring.”

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)
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