I don’t know about you, but I find casual racism both extremely unjust and overwhelmingly accepted in everyday life, especially when said racism is met with little to no consequence. In December of last year, following the tragic passing of Kim Jong-hyun, the 27-year-old singer in K-Pop boy band SHINee, NBC Chicago used footage of a totally different person, RM, the leader of a totally different K-Pop group, BTS, during its news segment about Jong-hyun. They’ve since apologized, but it seems like a really ridiculous error, one that serves to delegitimatize their institution—they’re a major news organization, they have fact checkers, they should’ve known and done better.
Apparently this is a really effed up trend, because over the weekend two people asked Korean-American rapper Jay Park if he was a member of the very same boy band, BTS. Park tweeted about the altercation:
BTS is having a moment right now, that’s certain—an American Music Awards performance, a spot on Ellen, interviews with a few prominent radio stations—their reign stateside and in the U.K. is only beginning. But assuming all successful, male, Korean artists are in the boy band? Extremely not cool. It’s reassuring that Park played it off—I assume that’s the only thing you can do in a case of mistaken identity—but it still sucks. He deserves better.