TikToker’s Japanese Tattoo Causes #CancelKorea and #SorryFilipinos Debate
A tattoo of a Filipino-American TikTok star has sparked a virtual word war between social media users from South Korea and the Philippines.
Online backlash: A TikTok dancing video of influencer Bella Poarch caught the attention of South Koren users who spotted her Japanese rising sun flag tattoo.
- In Korea, the image of the flag is offensive and considered to be similar to the Nazi swastika.
- Many South Koreans see the flag as a reminder of the atrocities done by the Japanese imperial army during World War II.
- South Korean TikTok users called out the 19-year-old influencer for the tattoo, accusing her of being ignorant about historical conflict.
- Some of her critics resorted to name calling and went as far as generalizing the Philippines as a “poor country with non-educated, short people.”
Poarch’s apology: Poarch, who was born in the Philippines and moved to the U.S. six years ago, apologized for her tattoo in response to the criticism.
- Poarch shared her apology to her 17 million followers on TikTok.
- In her message, the influencer expressed her love for Korea and promised to have the tattoo covered or removed.
#CancelKorea: Filipinos online took offense to the comments and voiced their outrage via the hashtag #CancelKorea, which became the top trending topic on Twitter.
- Many Filipinos who participated in sharing the hashtag admitted to being K-Pop fans.
- They shared that as much as they love K-Pop, they are putting the love for their country first.
- Some Filipino users, however, called for calm and restraint and advised to understand where the reaction was coming from.
#SorryFilipinos: Responding to the hashtag, some Koreans expressed sadness over the issue and have since shared positive messages on Twitter.
- Some Filipinos appreciated the messages and responded with understanding and compassion.
Feature image via Bella Poarch
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