Gracia of JKT48 has come forward addressing concerns that members of the idol group were sexually harassed after their concert in Sukoharjo, Central Java.
The incident occurred at a mall in Sukoharjo on June 28. As security personnel ushered JKT48 members off the stage, one male fan reached towards the girls and looked to have managed to grope the chest of one idol at one point, a video of which circulated widely online.
In a recent interview, Gracia said that the video didn’t provide the whole picture as the fan didn’t touch any of the members’ intimate parts.
“In that video, it appeared like we were touched in our private parts, but what actually happened was that we weren’t touched in our sensitive areas, we were only touched around the shoulders and arms,” Gracia said.
According to Gracia, the fans’ enthusiasm reached fever pitch levels as the idols walked off the stage and through the crowd, who were placed behind low barriers.
“So [the fans] made a line to see us off, and that’s when a lot of them shouted the members’ names. They were also taking photos and videos,” Gracia recounted the moment.
“There were actually many members who were touched, almost all of them who went [to the concert]. I was even touched on my shoulder, there were also those who held my hand, because the situation at that time was crowded. But fortunately it wasn’t something that was serious, and we can still understand. No members felt like they were sexually harassed.”
Prior to Gracia’s interview, JKT48’s management previously published a statement on Monday that denied any sexual harassment taking place, saying that the concert, which was part of the group’s 10th anniversary tour, ran without a hitch “from beginning to end.”
“It is confirmed that there was extraordinary enthusiasm from fans who wanted to greet the members when they were walking towards backstage, but the incident was responded to swiftly by the security team,” the statement reads.
Sukoharjo Police said it questioned JKT48’s management over the incident, but conceded that its hands are tied in terms of launching an investigation.
“[Management] said there was no harassment towards JKT48 members or any other problems,” Sukoharjo Police Chief Wahyu Nugroho said on Monday.
Curiously, despite the absence of a formal complaint from JKT48’s management, the group canceled their Bandung show scheduled for Sunday at the last minute, citing “technical, non-technical, and safety concerns.”