Apologizes over racist jokes about BTS
Only about a month after a German radio host came under fire for his racist comment on K-pop behemoth BTS, Chilean comedians have infuriated its fans again with racist jokes about the global stars.
Chilean channel Mega, which aired the controversial spoof on its comedy show “Mi Barrio,” on April 11 (KST), issued an apology Tuesday after facing strong backlash.
“We want to manifest our absolute empathy with those that might have felt affected by the section and we ask for your forgiveness,” it said on Twitter. “It was never our intention to offend, insult or harm any community. We will keep on moving, learning and listening, firm with our intention: to bring entertainment to families.”
On the show, five comedians dressed up like BTS members introduced themselves as “Kim Jong Uno” (a play on the name of North Korea’s dictator) and “Kim Jong Dos” (playing on numbers in Spanish which start “uno, dos”). Among other jokes, they mocked Korean accents and one of the comedians said he got vaccinated, joking inappropriately about Asians and COVID-19.
It was a Chilean BTS fan account that brought this sketch to light by sharing the video on Twitter.
“Last night, Chilean comedy TV show Mi Barrio (open TV channel available to the whole country) presented a parody performance of BTS, where all the jokes were based on racism and xenophobia, including a mockery of their language,” it said.
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After the clip went viral, legions of BTS followers sent formal complaints to Mega.
“We’ve been telling you that racism is not comedy,” a fan commented on Twitter. “It’s a disgrace that we still have to talk about this.”
This is not the first time that BTS has become a target of racism. In February, German radio host Matthias Matuschik caused a stir for ridiculing BTS’ version of Coldplay’s “Fix You” as “blasphemy” and comparing the septet to COVID-19 as if they were somehow related.
BTS has not commented on the aforementioned issues, but in March, it released a statement about racial discrimination and violence following the deadly shootings in Atlanta. The shootings, which took the lives of eight people, including four women of Korean descent and two women of Chinese descent, triggered the “Stop Asian Hate” movement in the United States and beyond.
“We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians,” the band said on Twitter. “Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away at our self-esteem. What our voice must convey is clear. We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence.”