Actor Park Eun Suk recently released an apology on TikTok (yes, really) for his portrayal of a character on Penthouse 3 called Alex that was basically just a ridiculous racial stereotype.
Well, an attempt at an apology at least.
“Regarding the drama ‘The Penthouse’ character Alex, I’d like to let everyone know that none of the appearances that were driven by the character were falsely intentional to harm, mock, disrespect, or discourage the African-American community. I’d like to apologize to the people who took offense by the character’s appearance. It was more admiration of the culture than mockery, but now I’m aware that the approach was more CA [cultural appropriation]. It was a wrong attempt for character development. Again, I’d like to apologize to those who took offense; I as a minority myself should’ve known better. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow in awareness. I hope you have the sincerity in your hearts to give the benefit of the doubt, that Alex’s appearance was rather a character approach who admired the culture and wanted to ‘be’ like, not intentionally portraying mockery.”
I mean, it was about as close to blackface without doing full-on blackface as one could get.
Honestly, the apology comes off rather ridiculous. The actor grew up in America, so I’m skeptical that he didn’t know this would be seen as racist to begin with. But furthermore, I can’t imagine he truly thought this portrayal was being complimentary to black people, even in some twisted way. This character is the reason actors should refuse to do shit or at least get proof of trying to push back on it, because they’re ultimately the face of things and they will be suffering the majority of the backlash.
That said, if the drama is really going to attempt to let him take all the outrage, that’s also fucked up. It should go primarily to the producers, scriptwriters, and directors who allowed this. They have the most power on that set and it’s on them that this embarrassing shit got broadcast.