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Tablo talks about how a life can be nearly destroyed by malicious netizens

In the middle of fighting a cyber-witchhunt questioning his degrees from Stanford University, singer/actor Tablo sat down with the JoongAng Daily yesterday for an exclusive, two-hour interview in which he discussed family, his music career – and the ability of anonymous netizens to destroy both. Here are excerpts.

Q. Don’t you think you should have done something when the rumor first circulated?

A. I’m a musician and I’ve tried hard to become a musician, but people were always interested in the college I graduated from. But it was burden for me because [people and journalists] asked about my college. If I said yes [I graduated from Stanford], netizens told me I was being arrogant and I was always talking about my education. Because of these people’s reaction, I felt embarrassed to mention my education on television programs.

What I want to ask people is: “Do I need my transcript and diplomas to become a musician?” When it turned out that some entertainers fabricated their educational credentials a couple of years ago, reporters verified mine. So I thought I didn’t need to say: “See? I studied really hard.” Since I was verified a couple of times by reporters and TV programs, I assumed people wouldn’t buy those lies. I couldn’t even dream that so many people would think that I’m lying.

Why do you think these rumors became so prevalent over the past couple of days?

When I saw people were targeting my family with verbal abuse, I sued one netizen [who is accused of spreading rumors about Tablo in the first place] because I didn’t want my father to see all this. His health has been bad for so long. So I sued the guy, but took care to keep a low profile with it. But then one reporter wrote about it, and even people who were not even interested in me started thinking I was lying. I’m the one who sued for malice, and then I felt like I was being judged negatively.

The biggest question among people who are suspicious about you is whether you wrote a paper for your master’s degree.

As you know, every school in the United States has various systems. I don’t need to explain them all. There are some master’s degrees where you have to write papers, but under Stanford’s co-terminal program, I wrote about 20 to 30 pages of thesis for every subject, not like publishing a paper [under the co-terminal program]. There is one thesis I wrote about Andy Warhol. If people search the Web site of Stanford, they would know [all this] but a lot of it was lost in translation. People couldn’t read the English themselves. If somebody translated it for them, they’d believe it’s true.

How do you feel?

I feel damaged. I mean, the things people ask me. If I asked you what happened to you eight, nine, or 10 years ago, you wouldn’t be able to give me exact details. For people to expect me to remember every single last detail in my past, it’s impossible. They can say, “Hey were you really wearing this 10 years ago?” If I say I don’t remember, they say, “You’re hiding something.” If I say I think I was wearing a shirt, they say, “No you weren’t. I have a picture of you wearing a jacket.” This is a type of thing I’m going though right now. This is how you hunt witches, basically. This is how a witch hunt works.

What do you want now?

I don’t care about restoring my public image. What I really want is that no one else is victimized as I have been by a combination of anonymity and malice [in cyberspace]. I hope there will be no more damage to my family. I want my mom and dad to be able to keep their chins up. I hope I could focus on my wife. And for those who love my music and who got hurt by this, I hope they wouldn’t be hurt anymore.

Letters from Stanford faculties confirming Tablo’s attendance into Stanford University and a transcript submitted by Tablo showing he earned BA with distinction and MA in three and a half years. His student number is blurred for privacy.


61 Responses

  1. You seem to know facts and I’m not doubting you since I’m not too familiar with these events that you’re talking about. I’m just saying whether he’s lying or not, people are getting too worked up about it. And about his music being unoriginal, call me stupid but I still like it. Not that it makes it right but 90% of today’s music is sampled from other people.

  2. You guys are all sheeps. And quite too lazy to find the truth instead believing what you read in a rag. You guys/gals will see -sooner than later- that Tablo in fact has been living a lie. Daniel Seon Woong Lee is NOT Tablo. It’s not a conspiracy theory either — The facts are clear. Tablo did NOT graduate from Stanford with Bachelor’s, never mind Master’s. Tablo’s brother -David- who’s been saying he’s got a Master’s from Columbia has since changed his profiles on many fronts as well since accusations came about his own legitimacy of degrees he’s claimed have earned. He blamed the inaccuracies on misinformations, but the profiles on his own book claimed Master’s Degree from Columbia. Tablo’s sister’s profile has changed too. Tablo’s mom’s profiles have changed too. It’s just too many to type. The whole family has an issue with lying when it comes to accomlishments. Just google ‘naver cafe whathero,’ invest 5 minutes and you’ll see for yourself that this isn’t just blind accusations. I’ll make a prediction. And it’s not a bold one either you’ll agree once you go to the cafe and read the facts. Tablo and his family will be exposed before this year’s over. And don’t even bring up how education has nothing to with his musical career. It has EVERYTHING to do with it.

    • What does graduating or not graduating from Stanford have to do with how badass his music is? Why does it even matter what school he graduated from or if he graduated at all? It doesn’t change the fact that his music is great. Everyone should just leave it alone instead of wasting time “finding the truth”.

      • His music is unoriginal. There are many examples of his usage of other musician’s work without crediting them. But that’s a topic for another day. If you don’t think his ‘mal’education has nothing to do with his ‘badass’ music career, you obviously have no problem with the likes of politicians as well and ultimately being lied to. Much of if not all of Tablo’s success is predicated upon his claimed Stanford education. In fact, when asked what the first word association with Tablo, many would answer — Stanford grad. He’s made a lot of money with the image not just with music but acting in sitcoms and shooting TV commercials for various groups. None of those would’ve happened without his image as a supposed Stanford grad. Fact is, Tablo doesn’t even have a proper High School degree. In fact, when he went on “MuReupPakDosa,” his HS grad picture provided by Tablo himself was actually his brother Dave. His claim about speaking four fluent languages turned out to be false. His claimed internship with CIA turned out to be a joke, and his claimed graduation with Chelsea Clinton isn’t true either, and Reese Witherspoon -which he’d claimed to know- had already left Stanford by the time Tablo supposedly attended Stanford. Just one lie after another. Also, if his education is proved to be farce -which will be soon enough- he’s also evaded one of Korea’s toughest law in existence — Mandatory Service in the army. That could put him in jail, and that would make him a criminal. The most amazing thing about all this is, only surface has been scratched. There’s a lot more to be revealed with Tablo.

  3. True that the K-netizens are somewhat hypocrite (on this matter), but we really can’t expect public to behave what we wanted them to behave. It’s out of our control. Well, anyway, I totally agree with Tablo’s statements. You don’t really need transcripts to be a musician, it’s a talent.

  4. I believe, love, and support you, Tablo!!!!


    did you guys see all the A’s!!! tablo is beast!!!! such genius running!!!! i envy him much…
    and for those netizens who are ruining his life, you better shut it already, ’cause he has proven it already.

    i respect this guy because he can take anything and everything.
    i wish you all the best in life tablo, and of course epik high!!

    tablo fighting!!

  6. i hope netizens i mean ANTIS, should just shut up…
    isn’t it very embarassing to humiliate someone but ended up with nothing??? jealousy much?? antis should stop doing this..

    i respect tablo. n he’s genius.

  7. I really hate when people try to bash people and ruin someone else’s career just because they are jealous of his/her fame or talent. False lies are not just statements and can turn into suicide. Just think of how many deaths have occurred in teenagers because of cyber bullying. I mean people have become depressed and quit their careers because of insensitive jealous people. Saying someone lied about where they went to school or faked/doctored their college degree is a serious accusation and definitely should not be said unless their is ACTUAL PROVEN evidence. It should not be based on one person’s website doctoring documents to make them look different. 타블로 is a great artist and should not have to put up with this stupid slander.

  8. just one word can explain why he’s going through so much… jealousy…
    the person who started the rumor and the ones who backed him up were all jealous of his achievements…

  9. PHEW, check out those grades! Man, excellent. I never doubted him, because he doesn’t seem the type to lie about something like that (considering he didn’t even care about going all that much). No matter how much you do or don’t like school, if you get through it and get degrees, you don’t want to pretend it never happened. It’s hard work! And Tablo certainly worked hard. I’m so impressed with him. Even in his music you can hear his intelligence. He’s a very smart guy.

  10. i hope those who want the ‘truth’ will stfu now..im sue some of the people here keep on questioning bout it earlier on before too..so i hope some of those people feel satisfied now..just freaking leave him alone

    • oh wow~ the netizens from that site is really crazy! they have A LOT of tablo’s old pictures!

      “You’re hiding something.” If I say I think I was wearing a shirt, they say, “No you weren’t. I have a picture of you wearing a jacket.”

      they seriously need to leave him alone!

      • Funny how they analyze every little things of the degree. From the Standford standard logo… headers… name/id alignment…

        Funny how they’re using their mind for something bad.

  11. Man… I’m more determined to find the crazy netizen cafe.

  12. Tablo is a genius in so many ways. I have so much respect for him and his music.

    I don’t know why stupid netizens spend so much time obsessing over these people. It’s great to be a fan of someone but who cares what school he graduated from? Why does he need to prove something that doesn’t even matter to people he doesn’t even know? It’s so ridiculous.

  13. even though i’m impressed with Tablo’s educational background, i love Epik High for their music.

    to Tablo, this too shall pass.

  14. is he crying in that pic? during the interview? poor tablo.

    i love his music, love his lyrics epik high <333

    i still dont get why everyone is so interested in his education background…

  15. Some people try to destroy tablo’s life just because he succeeds in everything with IQ 172

    All grade A *.*

  16. I have so much respect for Tablo… He is one strong guy. Defending yourself from the Netizens is hard and stressful. I give him props for doing that while taking care of his pregnant wife…. PPL LEAVE HIM BE… HE HAS A FAMILY TO TAKE CARE OF!!!!!

  17. we are all netizens.

    there are just some crazy psycho ones that want to destroy him. it’s just sad…………..

    There are a lot of korean netizens that say their sorry and some never were suspicious too.


  18. Poor Tablo, seriously some netizens are so stupid

  19. Tablo, it’s a shitty world, but you’re strong! So you’ll be fine. =)

  20. i respect tablo so much. These netizens need to get a life. What has his education got to do with his music. (btw all A’s O.0 he’s a frikken genius) I hate how netizens go crazy about every little detail. Like oh look what clothes shes wearing, oh look what that person did 10 years ago. Give it a break….have a look at your own life instead of criticising others. I love Kpop but i hate all these netizens and stuff. These artists are musicians, if their music isn’t great fine criticise that….but their personal life has nothing to do with it.

  21. Like water off a duck’s back, the ugly rumours all bounced off brave Tablo! Now THAT’S what I call a REAL MAN, Tablo My Man! Don’t be thinking about putting the noose around your neck and kicking away the chair! Seems like nasty comments really take their toll on Korean Entertainers[those who committed suicide] who aren’t thick-skinned enough to shrug off negative comments! They knew the job was dangerous when they took it!

  22. man these kind of netizen really really have a time ..

  23. This has fueled my dislike for netizens. I wish they would stop leaving negative comments. Honestly they are the saddest bunch of people: impersonating celebrities, hating celebrities etc etc.
    They should get a life and support people they like PERIOD. Not hate others.

  24. OMG,, im really curious about this netizens now,, who exactly are they? how cud they do this>? i mean,, wats so good and benefit on doing this to people? celebrities are human too,, they have feelings,,. I so admire Tablo, hes brave, and protects his family even thought it could damage his public image,, *salutes

    i hope this netizens stop bashing.. i was mad enough on wat happened to jaebum,,, and now theyre starting with Tablo,, im gonna burst soon,, good thing Tablo isnt someone who backs up,, he’ll do anything to protect his family.


  25. Omg. I love Tablo’s words. He should be a motivational speaker 😉
    TABLO FTW !!!!!!!!

  26. OMG. As everywhere. tablo one smart dude!!!
    those people need to get a life. after all this bs, he has to release his transcripts and more in his private life. seriously get a life!

  27. Honestly, I hate these double standards the netizens have. He says he graduated from standford people say he’s being cocky. If he didn’t graduate, people would think he wasn’t qualified enough. I’m happy that Tablo fought back. Quite frankly though, if it wasn’t for the stupid netizens that tried to dig into every little thing about celebrities lives, this wouldn’t have happened. This was such a complete waste of time for Tablo to be worrying about, when he probably has a ton of things to worry about, for example, his new baby? I’m just glad this is over. Netizens should now shut the fuck up since he has official proof.

    But on an aside note…holy crap he is fucking smart. straight A’s? DAMNNN.

  28. we ALL are netizen, actually lol

    • Not the bitchy type
      We SUPPORT (:

      • ^ WORD.

        And for the record, I’d like to think that we here at KBites are MOSTLY of the sensible/rational type.

        I have to say though, I’ve been pretty disappointed at some comments regarding Tablo’s whole debacle. I couldn’t believe some people were going “I just want the truth.” Like, WTF?! Why the hell are you bitching about this like some dramatic righteous ass? Far out:
        (1) HOW did this even relate to the MUSIC?
        (2) WHY do you even CARE?
        (3) Get a life.

        Seriously, there are way more important things in the world. I’m not saying that we should be making poverty history 24/7, but if you want to go take something seriously, it should be a matter that is WORTH spending time over.

        God, I’m so glad this is over, I feel so bad for Tablo. Hopefully now he can keep having his newlywed(?) bliss, and focus on his family.

  29. see that bitches? he’s legit. now shut the fuck up and get the hell off! eeesh! =__=”

    why was he even targeted all of a sudden in the first place? this whole thing was a stupid utter waste of time.

    kudos to tablo for puttin them back in their places.

    and what did those netizens gain from this? shame. well they got it….. in spades.

  30. im really pissed off!!!!
    even if they have the proof, they wont shut the hell up!!!
    malicious netizens should get a life! damn! or better they should die!!!!

  31. “What I want to ask people is: “Do I need my transcript and diplomas to become a musician?”” — oh, this is so TRUE!!!
    I don’t understand why would netizens even dig things like this in the first place. He’s one proven amazing musician! What does it have to do with his college degree??

    But anyway, bravo for him to get pass through it.
    I hope other artists who also get bashed can deal with their attackers as well… Never give up to malicious netizens!

  32. glad he has nothing to hide 🙂 Gotta admit I got a LITTLE suspicious when rumors came out that he wasnt in the graduating list and dates didn’t match but the evidence above is pretty….conclusive. Ahaah lots of A’s….I stopped getting those my first semester 😉

    Now after this I think he should just sit back and chill. He’s said his piece and I think he should just let netizens do as they want in the face of evidence 😛 anyway, I don’t think a rapper even needs a degree per se xD And to be honest I don’t think he was “damaged” though he may feel like it….mostly think he got more fan support now that he has proven it properly. Sad but most big stars need to go thru some rough times….just is a part of being the center of attention :\

    • it’s cool that he has the grades to release his actual transcripts! Cuz I’m at Stanford but I wouldnt release my transcripts cuz they are riddled with Cs and a D or two (but hey I still graduated) and netizens would prolly tear me a new one for being a dumbass for getting those ——

      • LOL hey do you mind letting me know how hard is it to get into stanford esp if your bachelor’s wasn’t from the states? cus i’ve always wanted to go to stanford 😦 also if you get Cs and Ds is that common <- LOL sorry i dont mean to be insulting but i'm assuming that everyone there is brilliant and your grades are considered okay

      • Hell you are at Stanford……it doesn’t matter what grades you got! It is very hard to go to Stanford or Harvard or Yale or any other Ivy League school. Be proud of yourself because no one is perfect. If you are talented enough to get into Stanford then I don’t really think you need A’s or B’s to prove you are smart. Grades aren’t everything. 타블로 is great because he is not only smart and talented but he has a great personality. He is also kind and compassionate. Don’t worry about getting C’s or D’s, it’s okay, you are in NO WAY stupid for getting those kind of grades. Talent isn’t always measured in grades. 🙂

      • Hey peeps,
        I did pretty well in HS and I was a competitive swimmer. I went as an undergrad so I am not sure how hard it is for people looking into grad school. I wouldnt say Cs and Ds are COMMON xD ahahah but i fooled around a lot in undergrad – I regret it! There are lots of smart people here and compared to them I’m pretty darn average 🙂 id ont think i am dumb but the people who do well are mostly the hardworkers – not always the “genius”/future S.Hawking.

        thanks for the kind words tho~~ cuz yall are right – grades (and even going to stanford) isnt everything. Some grads from 2010 dont have jobs right now either and a lot of people I know from “tier 3” Schools god jobs right out of college b/c they had lots of work experience etc. So yeah – you can succeed anywhere. And for the note – YES shitty grades even from stanford are shit shit shit – i have to explain why i got em for job interviews 😛

  33. I don’t understand how they managed to create such a big deal over something so.. I don’t know, irrelevant? Since he’s a musician. Not like he’s running for president…^^

    woah, modern chinese A+

  34. I dont even get what netizens will get out of all these. They think destroying lives is fun? Sheeez man, they need to go for a mental check up. Tablo is a great guy, his lyrics are dope. I hope he’ll become a great dad and husband.
    Dang, time to listen to GD’s Gossip Man song.

  35. You guys on this page are not like that. You`re great people. I`m sure he appreciates:) GO Tablo!
    We should use our web sites for support, also for expressing opinions of course, but bashing should simply be ignored. I guess it isn`t that simple but I sincerly hope he knows that this too shall pass:)

  36. I think de netizens r sooo low 4 judgin..I agree wif wat Tablo says..If u r highly educated n graduated frm a prestigious sch,ppl wil sae u r a show-off..If u r lowly educated,ppl wil sae u r stupid..ppl ca b wayyy mean sumtymes..They think by hurting other ppl wif harsh words cn make them feel gd bout themselves..Sooo wrong..Ppl who like 2 make other ppl feel bad bout themselves r actually low-self esteem themselves..

  37. Wowwwww
    A, A+,A-
    I have so much respect for this guy

  38. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ang.wingu, Marlin Fontanez and Katria, Belle Fuentes. Belle Fuentes said: RT @sookyeong: Tablo talks about how a life can be nearly destroyed by malicious netizens http://twurl.nl/24lgsg […]

  39. i feel frustrated reading this article. I just really hope this issue fade a way soon and people who went over the line in this just stop.

    all the best wishes to Tablo.

  40. malicious netizens are everywhere, including allkpop and here..

  41. Crazy, crazy netizens. Im sorry, you malicious insects, but Tablo is too brave to be cowed to become the next Jaebom. Sheesh. Isn’t it enough that you already ruined one great KIdol with your stupidity and brashness? Argh.

    Kudos to Tablo for fighting back and for clearing his name! I salute you! And yeah, one doesn’t need a degree to become a musician. But it’s great if they do finish a degree. And shut the eff up, netizens! Know the difference between righteous pride and straight-up-just-pimping-my-greatness pride. Seriously, these people are -__-

    PS: Im glad that Jae is fighting now and is up to even greater things. Sorry for bringing him up, dunno anyone else who can be an example. -__-

    • ughhh jae again??!! wtf

      • i think the same as kim hart. sorry for you . SERIOUSLY WHY ALL PEOPLE ARE LIKE THAT!
        Tablo fighting! we love you and support you forever ❤

    • YES, it’s about time for k-pop artist to fight back.
      We don’t want to hear another suicide news because of some stupid remarks form stupid netizens.

      Be it Tablo or Jay or any other artist out there… once you’re attacked, stand up and fight back. Good job, Tablo! We stand strong by your side!

  42. someone has to come out and shoot all this weird and bored netizens in the head. realy. they have to stop digging shits up and ruin people’s life.
    they are just plain bored, if not, tell me whats the god damn purpose of doing all this shit.
    i am really pissed off.
    they ruin a fine young man’s life.

    i dont have to name. you guys know.
    tablo is a great guy. but if just because hes a great guy, and people decides to try and bring him down. then thats the worst of being great.

    he is one tough guy.

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