__papillon (__papillon) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Korean Idol Lee Kikwang Does Blackface.

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Group BEAST’s member Lee Kikwang transforms into an African American, causing laughter.

On July 25th’s episode of MBC TV ‘Hot Brothers’, a ‘Don’t get worked up under any situation’ test took place in the recording while they underwent extreme situations meant to stimulate their heartbeats.

Lee Kikwang did an imaginary CF filming, and made up to look like an African American. Following this, a series of crummy situations occurred, breaking the common belief that filming a CF is a cool thing. In the end, Lee Kikwang was turned into an African-American and was embarrassed endlessly in extreme situations and unexpected outfits.

However, when Lee Kikwang was filming the watermelon CF, he put out all his acting skill, and after several NG’s, he just narrowly succeeded at the watermelon CF. But right after, he was hit with another challenge. A surprise guest appears and questions the true identity of Lee Kikwang in front of all the staff and guests.

The surprise guest said that they knew Lee Kikwang well, and that the ‘Lee Kikwang’ standing in front of them, dressed up as an African American was not really BEAST’s Lee Kikwang, accusing him and making him helpless.

Who could this person be? Also, even in this tense situation, will he be able to not get worked up and maintain his heartbeat?

Fugu Watch's Analysis:

On the issue of Lee KiKwang:
Lee KiKwang is a member of the popular Korean idol group BEAST, which I actually enjoy. I am aware that in Korea, Kpop stars are practically owned by their entertainment companies, which is why they are forced to appear on ridiculous variety shows in the first place. The entertainment companies audition young, talented youths, put them through intense singing and dancing training, and then debut them as idol singers.

There is a different entertainment culture in Korea, where stars are expected to do as their entertainment companies and contracts stipulate. This has resulted in some pretty bad behavior on behalf of the entertainment groups when they demand too much of their talent, but on the flip-side it creates a "family-like" atmosphere within entertainment groups, which provide artists with training, support and security. As long as everyone works together and respects the social hierarchical rules, everything will be fine.

So what happens when something like this occurs? If you combine the "entertainment culture" (as I have termed it) with a society lacking awareness in racial issues, you get a very conflicted, bad situation for Lee KiKwang. I have no doubts that he was just following his script, and I have no doubts that he did not intend to offend anyone. I don't know if he knows it was racist or not, but I'm sure he did not have that intention. He was doing what he's been taught to do. Therefore, I do not hold him as accountable as the TV station.

However, I will say that every individual has a responsibility to themselves and the world to be aware of their actions and what those actions mean. Lee KiKwang is an adult, as are all the producers and writers for "Hot Brothers." There isn't an excuse for racial insensitivity when you have so many people checking the script on a TV show. And while I don't blame Lee KiKwang, I do think that ultimately celebrities have a choice for what they choose to do.

- more

Oh I forgot:
CF: commercial film
NG: no-good takes

Fugu Watch
Tags: cpop / jpop / kpop, race / racism
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