So by now you know TMZ had coverage of EXID arriving in Los Angeles, and TMZ did some shitty stuff in the vein of “CHING CHONG LING LONG” or whatever. Since then it’s sort of blown up with English-speaking K-pop stars speaking out, along with EXID’s company being delusional by trying to get an apology out of TMZ.
I didn’t cover all that because … I mean like I said in my coverage, it’s TMZ. Nevertheless, of course I understood if others wanted to call TMZ on their shit publicly, not only to back Koreans, Asians, or Asian Americans, but also to back K-pop from being mocked as a whole.
Since then, however, there’s been somewhat of a counter-movement, where international netizens are raging about how K-pop is racist too, as if that changes any of the facts relating to what TMZ did as shitty. Specifically, there’s a video going around of Korean celebrities imitating Italian radio host and variety show talent (and adjunct professor) Christina Confalonieri. Which, of course, out of all the potential examples of racism in Korea they could pick, they’re pissed about a white person.
Netizens left negative sentiments on the video, sharing, “Wow what hypocrites!!!They should be ashamed of themselves, Amber can give it but she cant take it.HYPOCRITE!!!” and “Wait what did Amber said about making fun of someone’s accent? “rude and childish actions”? Such Hypocrites. So when Koreans make fun of foreigner’s accent it’s humor but when it’s the opposite it’s racism? Maybe now they’ll know how much it could actually hurt.”
The comments basically do go like that, and there’s crazy videos like this, which I assume has to be a parody but explains how international netizens are handling this.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to address this “viral” response, because I felt I didn’t need to explain how Korea doing racist shit doesn’t just negate TMZ being assholes. However, since people keep mentioning it to me, even though literally all I’ve said on the topic is that TMZ are assholes, I feel like I need to point out a problem with using Christina as their hill to die on and why this “viral” trend is stupid.
Let me clear up a few things:
1) None of this excuses TMZ’s bullshit anyway.
I point out when the Korean entertainment world acts like assholes all the time, and in this case, I was simply pointing out that TMZ were assholes. And they were. Nothing that happens in Korea justifies what they did, so why are people so desperate to go down this road?
That reality is not even controversial or surprising, because that’s what TMZ does. Yet I see people debating this — like TMZ’s integrity is their fucking lifeblood and because nothing can be racist or fucked up anymore since we live in a post-racial, Utopian society now, at least in the minds of some deranged dipshits — but there’s not much up for debate here.
Hell, half the room in the fucking TMZ video were cringing at those two girls cause they all knew the fucking score, and yet you have moron international netizens trying to debate this shit like “OH BRO GOTTA HEAR BOTH SIDES EVEN THOUGH TMZ THEMSELVES WERE EMBARRASSED AT THEIR OWN RACIST SHIT”.
They knew what they were doing, and they got the reaction, so good for them.
2) With Christina it’s not so much mocking an accent or broken Korean as much as it is her voice being absolutely fucking ridiculous.
Sorry guys, but Christina’s Korean isn’t the problem here, her voice is just cartoonish in any language, and this entire “omg K-celebs are hypocrites” campaign is shut down by the fact that the two things are just not directly comparable. Using Christina as an example of hypocrisy is akin to saying imitating Gilbert Godfrey or Joan Rivers or Christopher Walken is offensive on the same level as mocking an ethnic/racial stereotype. It doesn’t make sense, which I presume is exactly why international netizens have picked up this angle and are running with it.
Again, it’s not about how white people speak Korean. It’s not about how Italian people speak Korean (here are other Italians speaking Korean like humans). It’s not even about improper or broken Korean. It’s about Christina being Christina because her voice is unreal and she phrases her words like she’s a robot reading off a teleprompter.
3) Christina’s speech pattern and voice made a career for her.
This is relevant because if the imitations do not stem from racism or prejudice, and the person in question doesn’t care cause it advances her career, what are international netizens crying about, exactly?
She riffs off her voice, she welcomes impersonations on shows, and she knows it makes her unique. Also, I’m quite sure she’s previously copped to hamming it up a bit for the camera because the voice is like a character at this point.
In either case, the point is that she’s in on it … and why? Because she profits off it and now has a career as a personality/celebrity because of the way she speaks. People take Christina seriously on shows, and nobody treats her like she’s a walking stereotype since there is no stereotype, it’s just that she has a weird voice and stands out in the crowd. To attempt to compare that to EXID … what would they get? Mocked, belittled, not taken seriously, bunch of ‘fucky sucky long time’ jokes, and best-case scenario for fame from their accents is they become William Hung.
TOTALLY COMPARABLE SITUATIONS! GOOD JOB!
So before this goes anymore “viral”, please just take a step back and maybe wonder, “Hey … is this thing we’re all willing to die on a hill for even remotely correct? Does it even sort of make sense? Do we even understand what the fuck we’re talking about?”
But I guess that would require some train of thought instead of the trainwreck that is their brain.