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The Racist Nature of K-pop Criticisms

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

The so-called critiques of the Kpop industry has been mired in racist white supremacist ideology that feels threatened by the success of a non-western industry.

Picture of Bangtan Seonyandan, the most popular and profitable artists in the world in 2019 and 2020.

With the rise of any industry there is always pushback against new change. With the case of Kpop, the pushback is double tiered with both xenophobic and racist criticism of the industry becoming commonplace throughout the western world.

Xenophobia & Racism

The Kpop phenomenon has always been subject to racist rhetoric, both as an undertone and blatant attacks

Kpop has received the typical treatment of a new different foreign culture. It is an industry in a different language, from a different country, mixed in with the cultural traditions of a different society.

Australia's channel 9, a television program infamous for justifying the racist attacks on Chinese diaspora around the world, was met with heavy criticism for its BTS segment. It was filled with snide comments describing it as a, "Korean One Direction" and made casual references to nuclear war. Reddit, an internet forum, has also been known to have explicitly racist portrayals of BTS on their front page as a result of its majority white userbase.

Despite receiving chart topping numbers in the U.S. Billboard, U.S. radio shows have been shown to never play music from BTS. When the song, 'Life Goes On' became the first completely Korean song to top the Billboard last year, only one radio show in the whole U.S., 99.7 now, played the song.

This sort of xenophobic treatment is completely a double standard as popular American tunes will get played on occasion in radio stations around the world and in Korea itself.

BTS is Underrated

Despite being one of the most popular group in the world, BTS has been critically underrated. Just on paper each member has more talent than any western artist since Michael Jackson. They can sing, dance, produce and write sometimes at the same time. Since debuting in 2015 to lackluster response, they have shot up to stardom and have surpassed the Beatles in overall sales despite their career's being far from over.

Their music is diverse with a stylistic discography going from Latin pop to hip hop. They a combination of traditional Korean instruments and modern takes to produce a wholly unique sound that is revolutionary in its own right. Again, just from their soundtracks they don't produce the 'generic' sound that Kpop is frequently accused of.

And yet despite this, artists like post-malone and taylor swift still score similar total plays despite being far from their prime. Hell, even dead-English speaking artists did well this year compared to artists like Blackpink.

Racist Kpop tirades still haven't stopped the industry from expanding

"Hallyu-related exports came to US$12.3 billion last year, up 22.4 percent from 2018." -KOFICE

It turns out nobody listens to secretly gay homophobes anymore. The Kpop industry continues to expand at an enormous rate year on year despite the criticisms by the Western media. Despite policymakers attempts to destroy the industry, people recognize talent and are willing to overlook the stupid arguments of western 'journalists' or white incels on reddit for the sake of true art.

People should always keep in mind that this asian industry succeeded despite the fact that nobody speaks the target language or was familiar with the country until recently. If you don't think that Korean music is true art then I urge you to check out this video:

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