K-Pop quartet KARD just became the unfortunate targets of a Brazilian host who had no problem berating them with racial slurs on live television.
The male-female group, composed of BM, Somin, Jiwoo and J.seph (left to right), recently appeared on Brazilian variety show “Turma Do Vovo Raul” and trended No. 1 on Twitter worldwide.
While that’s a feat for a group that has not officially debuted yet, something went terribly wrong for the members during the show.
It all started when four kids — apparently of mixed ethnicities — representing KARD appeared on a segment called “Raul Gil”, in which the host asked what they are.
The first three said they’re Japanese, but when the last kid failed to answer, the host said, “Needs to open his eyes, right?”, according to Asian Junkie.
As if the scene is wasn’t awkward enough, an oriental riff then started playing and the host talked with an oriental accent.
When KARD finally appeared on stage, the host, for some reason, started bringing up dating and asked if one of them dated another member. The group denied any dating and the crowd went wild.
The host then asked the audience if they want to marry the members, before saying “You would have to stretch your eyes. Are you guys kidding?” and making a slant-eyed gesture.
Netizens seemed equally furious and hopeless about the matter (via Reddit):
“This is blatant racist and I am 100% not surprised it happened with Raul Gil (that’s the name of the host). He’s one of the oldest TV hosts — his generation in particular is very conservative here in Brazil, leading to a lot of racist/sexist/homophobic things being said. I know people are expecting an apology but I don’t see it happening,” one user commented.
“Raul Gil’s TV show is focused for adults and older people. Also for some conservative and religious public. I’m not surprised for his actions, he always does those kind of not fit comments, even with children. But there’s a twist, his show does promote K-Pop and K-Pop cover groups, like, it really does,” another wrote.
“The thing is, you see very established comedians in Korea making similarly inappropriate jokes and skits about black people/blackface etc.,” a different user remarked. “While I don’t think anyone should be defending this behavior, at the same time you can understand why countries that are only tangentially related to these race issues aren’t fully ‘up to speed’ on what is and isn’t OK to joke about. 10 years ago it would be perfectly acceptable to make these kinds of jokes and I’m sure in 10 years time both Korea and Brazil will also think that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.”
Interestingly, the Korean-Portuguese translator, who stood beside the host, reportedly omitted his other racially-insensitive comments.
Props to KARD for maintaining their composure on what must be the most uncomfortable stage they’ve been on yet. They’re reportedly debuting on Wednesday, so let’s all be on the lookout!
Watch the segment below: