Cardi B interpretation of ‘Squid Game’ song is accused of being ‘dehumanizing and othering’ to Asians

Cardi B is the latest celebrity facing accusations of anti-Asian racism after a video of her singing a Korean song from one of the games in the show “Squid Game” has gone viral on TikTok. 

The video: The 29-year-old rapper is heard making unintelligible sounds while singing along to the creepy doll robot in the game known in the U.S. as “Red Light, Green Light.”

  • The original Korean lyrics, “mugunghwa kkochi pieot seumnida,” translate to “the hibiscus flower has bloomed.” 
  • The TikTok video appears to be a screen recording of Cardi B talking to followers in a live video from her birthday on Oct. 11. 
@belcalis.17##fyp ##tiktok ##viral ##watch ##comment ##like ##cardib ##follow ##squidgame♬ Originalton –

The reactions: While some say the video is funny, others online have found it to be offensive, claiming that it mocks the Korean accent. 

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  • Sam Hyun, a chairperson at the Asian American Commission and manager of the nonprofit Hate is a Virus, has called out Cardi B’s behavior as “the kind of sh*t that people do that’s rooted in anti-Asian hate.” He also added that it’s “dehumanizing and othering.”
  • Hyun’s video response has gone viral, with over 1.3 million views as of this writing. 
  • The top comments appear to agree with Hyun: “Yeah the nasally tone was giving old school yellow face” and “Even if she wasn’t trying to be offensive she could have just… hummed.” 
  • Another viral video by TikToker Dominique Song shows the creator laughing from the sound of Cardi B in the background, with others in the comments noting how they don’t believe her video was racist.
  • The rapper is known for coining several catchphrases based on seemingly random sounds, including “okurrt” and “eow.” In 2018, she appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to explain the meaning behind some of her made-up words.

Featured Image via Best of Celebrities (left), @samueljhyun (right)

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