K-Pop Label Blasts TMZ As 'Racist' for Mocking EXID Singer's English
A segment on TMZ on TV featuring K-pop girl group EXID is drawing criticism from the scene's stars, with some calling the video feature racist.
In the clip, one of the site's reporter's talks about the "invasion" of K-pop fans at Los Angeles International Airport to meet EXID, who were performing at the 2015 Korea Times Music Festival alongside other popular acts like TVXQ! and Apink. The footage shows member Junghwa greeting the TMZ crew and speaking a little English. The reporter then mocks the singer's English to her co-workers. See below:
When her co-workers start laughing at her, she responds, "What?! If it were a British girl I would do a British accent."
Furthermore, the segment finds a TMZ employee asking her Asian co-worker where she was born, to which she responds, "America."
I was gunna stay quiet but i cant. Seriously, @tmz not cool man. All Americans face palm at your rude and childish actions.-- Amber J. Liu (@llama_ajol) May 3, 2015
Amen to this. https://t.co/fi3AiIAlQO-- 로이킴 Roy Kim (@RoySangwooKim) May 3, 2015
한사람이 이상한 억양을 가지고있다고 놀릴때 그사람은 아예 다른 언어를 완벽구사할 수 있다는걸 모르는건가?ㅋㅋㅋ 미국갔더니 많은 팬들이 와줘서 영어로 답해준걸 놀린다는 멘탈이 그냥 와우... https://t.co/Xey22BboXk-- taec yeon ok (@taeccool) May 4, 2015
(Translation: When they make fun of a person's accent do they not realize that said person is able to fluently speak another language? Ha ha ha. The mentality behind making fun of someone who greeted fans in their own language is just wow...")
Korean media reports that EXID's record label, Yedang Entertainment, has deemed the clip "racist" and said it was "wrong to make fun of someone's happiness at seeing fans" in a statement translated by Koreaboo.com. The label's CEO Jeon Suenghwi added that they weren't aware that TMZ employees were present and "never thought Junghwa's pronunciation would be subject to ridicule." He mentioned both Junghwa and her band mates were "extremely upset."
EXID recently released their new single "Ah Yeah" along with its EP of the same name. The track debuted at No. 6 Billboard's World Digital Songs chart while the record peaked at No. 12 on World Albums. The follow-up single to their breakout viral hit "Up & Down," the new track is also ranking high on Korea's charts since its release last month -- likely earning the girls way more money than the reporters poking fun at them.