Korean netizens defended a Japanese celebrity recently … shock! Well, not really.
I suppose one could chalk this up to a surprise, but I’m not, especially considering that SMAP‘s Kusanagi Tsuyoshi has long had the support of Korean netizens for being friendly to Korea and owning up to comfort women and other stuff. Therefore, to disrespect him on one of their supposedly marquee shows was a mistake.
Needless to say, netizens absolutely torched the show for allegedly treating him like shit (including one segment that was basically racist), but I found it interesting for another reason as well.
1. [+228, -7] Kwanghee doesn’t seem to know that you can’t meet a celebrity like Kusanagi Tsuyoshi unless you are a top star on a popular Japanese program. He looked so stupid screaming and raising his voice in front of him, I really wondered why he was behaving like that while watching the episode. Today’s Knee-Drop Guru was a disappointment. If our celebrity had received this kind of treatment on a Japanese show, I would’ve been pissed.
2. [+225, -8] Knee-Drop Guru is seriously turning into a trashy program. I used to love this show better than Healing Camp but today’s episode was inexcusable. Because the episode was to feature a special guest, because it was Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, I expected to hear him talk about his childhood, how he came to love Korea, what his thoughts are on improving Korean/Japanese relationships… Instead it ended up being a Cha Seung Won show to promote his new play. This pisses me off… How can think they of inviting a guest like him and treating him like this? Knee-Drop Guru is losing it…
3. [+172, -7] Although a Japanese top star wasn’t able to receive the proper treatment in Korea, the fact that he said he was still glad shows what an amazing person he is inside and out ^^
4. [+69, -1] In Japan, he’s on the level of Yoo Jae Suk so how in the world could they think of treating him like this… He’s such a special guest, one of the very few celebrities who genuinely love our country.. Did they think it was okay to treat him like a joke just because he laughed a few times?? How can they say they’re hungry when he’s finally being asked some questions?? If I were him, I’d hate Korea if they kept treating me like this. Imagine if Jang Dong Gun or another Korean celebrity of similar stature was treated like this in Japan, our netizens would be up in arms with anger… Kang Ho Dong’s really over now, isn’t he, especially with Moonlight Prince
5. [+60, -3] I was really looking forward to his guesting on this episode because I know how much he loves Korea, to the point where he’ll often feature Korean cuisine on Suma Suma Bistro… The attitudes of the three MCs were so disrespectful and rude, how is it that an extra was given more spotlight than the actual guest? Why did they subject him to hours of filming if this was what they were going to do?
It goes on and on like that. Netizen Buzz even did another article on it because of the overwhelming reaction/coverage, so feel free to read it all if you want.
Anyway, like I said, I thought it was interesting not only because it gave people insight into another dimension of the Korean/Japanese feud, but also because it gave another perspective on the apology culture.
For the former point, you can read the comments of netizens themselves and contrast that against what you usually hear from them, which is always raging against Japanese whatever, and see that their reaction to Japan is not ALWAYS bad. However, what I really wanted to address is the latter point, which is that an apology culture has benefits.
Now you generally see me ranting and raving about how stupid and asinine demands for apologies are, and I generally do that because … well, to me the demand is usually illogical and idiotic. However, if I ran an American pop culture site, you’d see me complaining about how we not only encourage celebrities to be assholes, but reward it, same as we do general stupidity. Thus, I thought this article was a good example of something that would probably be shrugged off in America with a bunch of people posting ‘Haters Gonna Hate’ memes, yet in Korea/Asia, they want a formal apology to him and to the viewers … and they’re actually likely to be heard, regardless of if they get what they want or not. Nothing wrong with demanding that you don’t treat people like shit, after all.
Point being, because this is a blog about Korean/Japanese pop culture, you’re exposed to my opinions on just that, but it doesn’t mean I like the status quo in Western pop culture either. Far from it. Really, if there was just a way to find a happy medium between the two pop cultures, that would be fucking great for me.