Monday, February 27, 2012

[UPDATED] Blackface sketch gives hallyu a black eye

Oh, dear God! This is 2012, isn't it? There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of thing at all.

It being funny is not an excuse (it's not funny; it's puerile and juvenile). Them portraying comic book characters is not an excuse (the comic book portrayal is itself racist). And certainly being ignorant of how offensive this is to people in a lot of other countries is no longer an excuse.

That last point was already covered (by me and others) in the past. Specifically, I made the point that while some portrayals of black face may indeed be innocent, enough of these cases have hit the fan of global media that they can no longer be construed as innocent, just ignorant. And if you are trying to make your brand loved around the world, as LG is trying to do, and I assume MBC is trying to do with the Hallyu Korean wave, then you have to stop this. Not now, but yesterday.

Other than that, Eat Your Kimchi says pretty much all that needs to be said about this.

Stupid. Stupid Stupid.

Take a look while you can, because if they have even an ounce of smarts to them, MBC will take that down forthwith.

MBC has gotten the message and apologized for this. Meanwhile, Roboseyo has a lengthy post on this as well.



  1. I wasn't able to see the video, but I don't think that Korea has had THAT many incidents of blackface. Even with all the media attention on racism in the U.S., you still hear reports of some anchor or politician (people who should definitely know better) making blatantly racial remarks.

    Korean advertisers/producers are tuned into KOREAN society. A few reports here and there about objection to those ads is not enough to help people understand WHY it is wrong in a meaningful way. As we know, growing up in a racial diverse society does not make one a racially aware person. You can be a white person who grew up in mostly white Malibu or a black person who grew up in mostly black South Central.

    I would definitely criticize the Korean media if there was negative programming regarding mixed race Koreans because Koreans grow up with this awareness, but racism toward black people is not really part of Korean history. Koreans in Korea have not had the need for the most part to self-reflect on their racial identity due to its homogeneity. It is ignorance, but may not be the crime that it is made out to be.


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