TV personality Sam Okyere is under fire for his comments about the Uijeongbu High School students using blackface to portray the Ghana Dancing Pallbearers, but why?
Previously, various Korean news outlets covered the controversy surrounding Korean high school students who used blackface to portray the popular meme about Ghana. Sam Okyere personally spoke up about the issue and expressed his disappointment in the students.
In an Instagram post, he wrote about being disappointed with the students and how he finds this inappropriate and offensive, ‘please, let’s respect each other’s cultures.’
In English, he added,
“Time and time again why won’t people get that blackface is very offensive and not funny at all!!!!!! There have been so many instances both on and off air where people paint their faces black here in Korea and think it’s funny! It’s not and I am highly against it and highly disappointed.
You put in so much effort to educate people here in Korea and make them understand that you can appreciate a culture without making mockery of the the people. This has to stop in Korea!!! This ignorance cannot continue!!!!!”
In the caption, he used #teakpop which many found to be odd considering it’s a serious issue he’s discussing. While some netizens agreed with his remarks, soon others began to object and bring up issues with the way he phrased his statement.
Some k-netizens believe the boys had no ill-intensions by doing so and only painted their faces darker to emulate the exact meme; it wasn’t out of disrespect for the culture.
What irked k-netizens was the way he spoke about this and soon, his past actions were brought up and caused a bigger stir online. A previous clip from Sam Okyere doing the Asian ‘chinky eyes’ on JTBC’s ‘Abnormal Summit’ caught attention again.
In the clip, the panel faces off in an ‘ugly face competition,’ when it was his turn, Sam Okyere made a funny face by slitting his eyes and revealing his upper teeth, such actions are known for being racist against Asian people and are done by non-Asians to mock Asian people.
Soon more k-netizens shared their dissatisfaction with Sam Okyere stating he’s a hypocrite who criticizes Korean students who had no ill intensions while doing such faces on Korean TV. The public sentiment on Sam Okyere has turned sour as a result.
Check out the video below:
What are your thoughts on this?
I am in the US & even US citizens do not understand the negative implications of black face. Our education system fails to accurately teach history regarding the experience of our black Americans who are so important & integral to our society yet continued to be mistreated. THIS IS NOT OK
Sam, I hope that you do not receive too much backlash for your post & that people have more understanding why (though not intentional) what the high school students did could be considered extremely hurtful & offensive. Korean music industry & KPop are heavily influenced by music with clear African American roots, yet so many artists (I feel ) have so little knowledge of African American history.
I feel it’s important for them to know the accurate history & experience of African Americans & other black cultures and history as a whole since their work and success is based on music and dance choreography that has clear African American roots.
I pray for your continued success Sam. I support you. Though what the students did may have been out of ignorance – they need to understand that it’s extremely offensive and hurtful.
Chill tf out, they were literally parodying a meme here. Do some more research before clowning yourself on the internet by shitting on high school kids.