JKT48’s Shania Gracia speaks on Sukoharjo mall performance: “No members felt like they were sexually harassed”

Echoing a statement made by the Indonesian-Japanese idol group's management team in response to a viral video appearing to show a man groping a group member

JKT48 member Shania Gracia has given an interview saying no members of the Indonesian-Japanese idol group “felt like they were sexually harassed” at a recent mall performance in Central Java.

The comments follow the circulation of a now-private viral Tiktok video, which appeared to depict a male fan allegedly groping a member’s chest during the idol group’s performance at The Park Mall, Sukoharjo in Central Java on July 3.

In a new video interview, Gracia said that the viral video was incomplete in capturing the situation. Instead of having touched their chests, fans had only reportedly touched the idols “around the shoulders and arms.”

“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 further recounted.

“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.”

Gracia’s comments echo a statement made by JKT48’s management team earlier in the week, who said that no incidents of sexual harassment occurred. Instead, the management team attributed the incident to “tremendous enthusiasm from fans backstage”, which was “responded to swiftly” by security.

Following the announcement, the group, however, cancelled a performance in Bandung for “technical, non-technical, and safety concerns.” The date was supposed to be the final date on the Indonesian-Japanese group’s 10th Anniversary tour.

Due to the lack of a formal complaint lodged by parties involved, no further police investigations will be made into the incident, per CNN Indonesia. Such complaints are required for further procedures, as stipulated in Indonesia’s Crimes of Sexual Violence bill, which was passed earlier this April.

In related news, JKT48 member Aurel filed a police report in 2020 for alleged online sexual harassment. As per a Coconuts Jakarta report, the member received unsolicited explicit messages on Instagram from an anonymous user, including indecent photographs and lewd texts.

“Had I only blocked [the account], there will be many cases like that, I feel that it must be [legally] processed. If the culprit dared to do that it means that the culprit should be able to be responsible for their actions,” she commented on the incident in a now-deleted Twitter thread.

“Please! I really appreciate direct messages from you guys, but if the context of the DMs I receive have crossed towards sexual harassment, I am furious. Please respect each other. I know me being a public figure definitely has things I have to accept the consequences for, but please respect me as a woman.”