Don’t Forget the Times G-Dragon took Cultural Appropriation to a New Level.
I’ve been meaning to write this for a while and I kept trying to figure out a way to talk about. However, I figured it’s better to talk about this topic from the heart because this means a lot to me and it’s sad to see what’s happening to something I care about.
K-Pop, a.k.a Korean Pop music, has had huge come up in the last seven or eight years. The amount their international fan base has grown still astounds me but there are some things that I have now realized that I have been blind to that are not okay. While I personally love and cherish so many memories and friendships that the community has given me, certain things have becoming a huge problem in the k-pop fandom. From what I see it seems that for the few hundred fans that actually see the problem there is an army behind the artists and the companies that are willing to defend their favorite artists to the very end, even if the artists are doing things that shouldn’t be defended.
The fact that artists are constantly appropriating cultures and are constantly getting a pass isn’t okay. Just because they’ve issued an apology does not give them a pass to do it again. The excuse that they don’t really know or the famous excuse that artists just learn from what they’ve seen on television doesn’t make it okay anymore. K-pop artists have traveled the globe to different countries and have learned about different cultures while they are working. They’ve gone to an international history class or two to learn about different cultures. I’m sure they’ve heard from a few angry POC fans that the things they were doing weren’t okay. So why are k-pop artists still able to hide behind the innocence of not knowing?
Some of the biggest incidents of cultural appropriation have come from the biggest names in the k-pop industry. Let us not forget the many times G-dragon of Big Bang took cultural appropriation to a whole different level.
Who can forget when the staff of Running Man, a popular show in Korea, did black face as a joke?!
Remember when Taeyeon of Girls Generation made that remark toward Alicia Key’s, saying “she was pretty for a black girl”?
Taeyang also a member of Big Bang has also been added added to the long list of problematic incidents involving cultural appropriation and he gets double points for romanticizing the pain of black people.
The fans and anti-fans are a little bit of a problem also. Fans can get so problematic that it becomes a little bit hard to enjoy the community. Fans that put claims on men and women that barely know them, fans that go so far as to sneak into a artist’s house, and anti-fans that issue death threats on the regular make it so easy to just choose to leave the community all together rather than giving support and trying to defend the community.
Maybe it’s true that some artists truly don’t know. Maybe it’s true that they are just innocently copying what they see on television. Even if that’s true how much longer can they hide behind that? The real question is how much longer are we as fans willing to let them hide behind the innocence of not knowing?
Why are we, as fans, so blinded by the fogged glass that is our favorite idols and their entertainment companies that we blatantly choose to not wipe the fog away and take a look at what’s going on behind the fogged glass? I’ve even blindly supporting artists under the excuse that they didn’t know or that they’re just so innocent because I didn’t want to believe that these things were happening. It’s a sad reality to realize that this is happening but it is, and it’s time to wake up.