CL Apologizes for Quran Verse Controversy on Her Hello Bitches Tour

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic
CL is seen outside the Jeremy Scott Fall 2016 fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station on Feb. 15, 2016 in New York City.  

After facing mounting criticism on social media for incorporating verses from the Quran into a song on her Hello Bitches Tour, K-pop star CL has apologized and promised to remedy the situation.

Earlier this week, sharp-eared audiences attending CL’s performances in the U.S. and Canada noticed that the singer was using a backing track for her song “MTBD” which featured vocals singing lines from the Quran. Fans expressed their outrage and requested that CL remove the contentious portion of the song, using the hashtag “cl_stop_using_our_quran" on the singer’s official Instagram and Twitter accounts. On Monday (Nov. 7), CL issued an apology on Twitter, explaining that her engineer had sent the wrong version of the song.

“To anyone I have offended I sincerely apologize for my mistake,” wrote CL. “What happened was my engineer sent the old version of 'MTBD' for this tour. I take responsibility for not realizing this sooner. My intention was never to use this version.”

The original version of “MTBD” was switched out for CL’s performance in Dallas on Sunday (Nov. 6) and the upcoming shows in Atlanta, Chicago, and Toronto will also feature the updated track.

The song initially evoked outrage when it was released as a solo track by CL off of 2NE1’s 2014 album, Crush, provoking accusations of appropriation and racism directed at the group, its company and K-pop as a whole. After fans and the Korea Muslim Federation demanded the song’s redaction due to its affront to Islam, CL’s agency YG Entertainment altered the song so that digital copies and performances of “MTBD” no longer contained the Quran verses.

The resurgence of the problematic version of “MTBD” during the Hello Bitches Tour upset many who felt CL and her team should have learned from earlier controversies related to the song.

In her apology, CL also wrote that they have since swapped out “MTBD” for the alternate version, and that she has requested her engineer “delete the old version completely and forever.”