Lee Hyo-ri flees social media after "Mao" storm

Lee Hyo-ri [INSTAGRAM]

Singer and entertainer Lee Hyo-ri is leaving social media, she announced on Instagram Wednesday morning, following a wave of criticism from people claiming they were offended by a comment she made on an MBC show.

"In the next three days or so, I will no longer be on Instagram," she wrote. "It's not because of the recent event (although of course I can't say that it hasn't been entirely irrelevant). I hoped this could have been the gateway for me to interact with fans who were always thirsty for my news, but this is more than what I've bargained for and it's not easy."

Post uploaded on Lee's Instagram account. [INSTAGRAM]

In an Aug. 22 episode of "Hangout with Yoo," a reality show on MBC, she suggested that she take the stage name "Mao." That resulted in a barrage of negative posts on Instagram by those who interpreted the comment as a slight toward Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist leader.

"Hangout with Yoo" staff insisted in online posts that the name "Mao" was suggested generically and was not meant to make any sort of connection to the party leader. They also said that a different name has been chosen, while the scene has been deleted from the episode.

"I'll try to come up with other means to communicate with my fans," Lee said. "Thank you for coming to cheer and support me."