I can’t say I’m an avid follower of the South Korean singing competition, K-Pop Star, but I did find this article to be extremely interesting regarding the exit of one of the finalists, Lee Michelle. Lee, who is half Korean, half African-American, has reportedly received high marks from the judges on the show, however she failed to gain traction with the television viewing audience – regularly polling in the bottom.
Media mogul, JYP (mastermind behind the Wonder Girls), offered his opinion on the singer, strongly suggesting that racial undertones were largely responsible for the contestant’s seemingly premature exit.
“I have one thing to tell Lee Michelle. I kept asking her (during our training) why she couldn’t clearly express her true feelings. But she just said, she couldn’t express herself because growing up she’s been hurt so many times by so many people.”
“I strongly believe that all the parents (in Korea) must continuously teach and educate their child not to make fun of someone, or make derogatory comments, just because of that person’s skin color or race. I wonder if there’s any other country than Korea that’s so close-minded and oppressed in that manner. And I would like to applaud Lee Michelle for overcoming all the barriers and showing a new possibility with her performance today.” – JYP
Exactly how much these external factors played into the outcome of the show is difficult to determine, but this is certainly not the first time this topic has been touched upon in Korea. We’re encouraged that JYP chose to speak on the subject on such a large platform – and we hope it’ll chip away at years of close-minded, indoctrinated mentality.