Worst Ever: TMZ Correspondent Makes Fun of KPOP Group’s Korean Accent

First, watch the following.

Now, let’s talk about it. We’ve covered a number of racist issues before, us being an Asian-American related website and all – so this kind of thing actually seems a bit mild in comparison. A uber popular KPOP group, EXID, arrived in town and it was apparently mayhem at the airport so TMZ does what they do best – making the ultimately unimportant, important.

Do I take offense with what was aired? Not exactly. I’ve heard and seen worse. To be fair, as soon as the woman started to go into the accent, a lot of people immediately threw up their hands in protest – as if to say “No. Not right, don’t go there”. Some KPOP stars are also voicing their disgust.

I get it. It’s a sensitive topic. We – as Asians – don’t particularly enjoy caricatures of our accents and languages, because more often than not it’s done in a belittling way. The reporter’s defense was that if it were a British accent, she would have done that impression too – however it’s important to remember that the British accent is more often coveted and admired than otherwise.

So was her intent racist? Probably not. She was just ignorant and made an attempt at humor that didn’t fly over well. I don’t particularly hold that against her. It was a dumb, silly mistake that just happened to touch on a deeper sociological and cultural level.

Oh and there’s KPOP. Who’s fandom is more bitingly reactive over their passion than mobile phone fanboys with their devices, hipsters with their coffee, and soccer fans combined.

I’m not mad. I just shake my head and chuckle and move on.


3 thoughts on “Worst Ever: TMZ Correspondent Makes Fun of KPOP Group’s Korean Accent

  1. Hi GT, I’m curious as to where you draw the line between “silly ignorant” behavior and “racist” behavior. And I promise, I’m not trying to be combative in my comment, but is ignorance acceptable to you? I’ve been a part of and witnessed many similar situations and have taken the same stance as you do here: chalk it up to good ole ignorance and move on. But the thing (at least for me) is, I don’t feel like that’s much of a preventative action or solution. In fact, shaking my head and walking away has more often than not enabled those parties responsible to continue to do and say stupid stuff at Asians’ expense. I don’t advocate getting up in their faces about it because that legitimizes their intent, but there has to be some middle ground between angry confrontation and passive acceptance that works to end such ignorance in our society. I’d love to hear your thoughts, thanks!

    1. Good question, and appreciate the dialogue.

      I think there are two main things I consider. Knowledge & intent.

      If someone is ignorant but meant no harm, I usually shake my head and move on.

      If someone is ignorant and meant harm, I think it’s “racist” and take offense.

      If someone is knowledgeable and meant harm, I consider it pretty damn wrong all the way around.

      If someone is knowledgeable and means no harm, this is the trickiest part for me. Because once someone is made aware of something, it’s hard for them to claim they meant no harm.

      I think humor is great, and as someone who appreciates humor, I try to err on the side of grace. Sometimes attempts at humor fall flat. Most times at least one person doesn’t appreciate a joke. This is definitely more of a moving target, tough to define.

      But you’re absolutely right, passively dismissing it doesn’t really solve much. I believe the key is to respond in love. In this particular case, it’s not that I don’t care but I’ve been in her shoes in some way, shape or form. I get it, I understand. I hope the public backlash is enough for her to realize it offended a lot of people and that she can learn and grow from that.

      Maybe I’m too passive. Maybe I’m wishy washy. But that’s my general perspective.

  2. What do you say about other KPOP stars who are commenting on the issue i.e. g.o.d’s Park Joon Hyung who did the following in ‘jest’ as well:

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