20150506_seoulbeats_exid_junghwa_tmzWelcome to Comments of the Week!

This week in idols and music, we covered Lim Kim‘s Simple Mind album and “Love Game” music video, Big Bang‘s “Loser” and “Bae Bae” music videos, lesser-known releases from April, BTSThe Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 1, the best of April OSTs and the 13th Korea Times Music Festival in Los Angeles, California in the US. We also released a mixtape focusing on singledom.

In fashion and TV, we looked at the last episodes of Blood, our picks from last week’s music shows, the crop top trend in photoshoots, the first two episodes of Fluttering India and episodes 1-9 of Exo Next Door.

Our Sunday Social covered Big Bang’s plans for a tour stop in Australia. For our Roundtable, we discussed TMZ‘s mocking imitations of EXID‘s Junghwa. We also released a Chat Box with an interview with Henry Bloomfield, a US-born musician/songwriter currently working in the Korean music industry and continued with our Week in Review segment.

Here are the comments I’ve chosen to highlight this week:

dewaanifordrama on Roundtable: Accents and Racism with TMZ

Great roundtable! Thank you! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts and opinions, which I would say express well the complexity of dealing with this sort of topic. What TMZ did was wrong (and I was a little shocked at the Asian-American staffer going along with it), but I really can’t judge her because I have no idea how much crap she’s had to deal with before this.

I really liked Gaya’s points about Korean-American (or non-Korean) idols and entertainers being mocked all the time in Korea for not speaking Korean well enough. Korea isn’t exactly known for being non-judgmental when it comes to other cultures and races. (Considering the amount of black-face and cultural misappropriation rife in K-pop etc.)

I think what troubles me most of all about this situation though is this continued assumption by many white, English native speakers, that somehow their version of English or cultural identity is somehow the default for how the entire human race should conduct itself. I am a white, English native speaker, but I have now lived on four continents and for almost half my life not lived in my home country, so I have a complex and mixed up cultural identity. Even when I was living in the USA (I’m not American), it just became easier to mimic the American English accent instead of repeating myself over and over again (which I had to do with my South African accent, which wasn’t even strong to begin with). There is just too much hubris associated with English and particularly American English that disgusts me as a native English speaker. And it affects so much of a person’s worldview. It’s made me want to distance myself as much as possible from being white and being an English native speaker.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to turn this into an autobiography, but I just wish that English speaking cultures would grow up and realize there is more to the world than making everyone conform to what they think everyone needs to look and sound like. It’s stupid and annoying and a form of cultural and linguistic imperialism.

Em on Roundtable: Accents and Racism with TMZ


Thanks for this great roundtable. As someone who is Asian American (born in China, adopted at 10 months by two Caucasian parents, raised in the US), I’ve had to deal with these sorts of microaggressions from people of all different racial backgrounds: “You speak such great English!”, “Do you speak English?”, “Where are you really from?”, “Who’s that?” [when people see me and my parents together for the first time]. A lot of people don’t get how these microaggressions add up and start to feel like a weight on your shoulders, so thank you for taking the time to address this issue.

TMZ is terrible, no argument there. I’m really hoping EXID’s company makes a big deal out of this incident. They’ve got the opportunity to start a discussion here (already seen by some of the idols who spoke up already), and I hope they take it. As k-pop grows more and more global, we’re just going to run into this issue even more until it (if ever) resolves (or at least improves) itself.

Oddly enough, what really hurt me to watch this video was actually more on behalf of Junghwa and EXID. They’ve had a breakout year after years and years of toiling away in the industry with little notice. And just as they’re able to celebrate all of their hardwork with music show wins and being asked to perform in international festivals, an ignorant/idiotic American basically shits on their moment of glory. I just hope that with all of the other difficulties they’ve been through, this situation is another that they can push through.

KSaddict on “Fluttering India” Episodes 1-2: More Existential than Kafka

20150504_seoulbeats_fluttering india

I can absolutely understand your point of view of the show. But, I found the show(first 2 eps) to be funny and nice because I seriously wasn’t expecting even this much from them actually. I have to accept that it was offending about the ‘spork’ thing.. still, I may let it slide, coz now they would have realized that we use cutlery in India too. So true that they had no plan or idea of what they were going to do. It was a bit irrational seeing them travel anywhere and everywhere they were directed to (Consulate->Gateway, fan->DDLJ, guy->Dharavi). Probably I could have brought them to my house had I met them, LOL. I just got curious as to where would they have gone and what would have they done, if they hadn’t met the fan in starbucks and the guy in the theatre who suggested Dharavi.. I could understand as to why it is not getting good ratings, basically due to lack of a structure and sufficient content. I liked this part, when all Indians were clueless asked about kpop and korea, they showed their(korean citizens) lack of knowledge about India too, when everyone of them could think of only ‘CURRY'(should I be thankful that they didn’t mention ‘POVERTY’ and ‘SNAKE CHARMERS’) Atleast they agreed that we are two countries who have mutually not explored about each other.. I am still kind of happy about the show coz of the little hope I find in it, not showing the stereotypical or racist stuff. It is not the best show, not even a good one, compared to other shows, I’ve watched.. still would be the best show for every Indian fan like me.. I am a kpop and kdrama fan, or just another victim of Hallyu wave from India, Tamil Nadu.. I am glad I was able to find this review and share my thoughts too. THANK YOU Alolika.

Thank you for continuing to be great readers and for participating in our discussions!

(Images via Yedang Entertainment, News1 and Mystic 89)