It was just too quiet 'round here to be true, I guess.
I couldn't blog about the show that is the present subject in question – the "Global Talk Show" or the somewhat literal translation of the Korean title "The Chatting of Female Beauties" – since I don't own a television and therefore wouldn't have anything intelligent to say about this Korean television show that's founded on pretty shaky premises.
From the site:
Roughly translated: "Foreign women from around the world look at Korean culture, Korean men, as well as the present situation of the Korean people."
Yeah. In naughty poses.
Look at all them perty foreign wimmins!
I've been through the web site and found it pretty questionable – if the goal's bridging international understanding, then why's the show full of young, single, attractive girls? Why are most of the questions seemingly about Korean men's sexual attraction to these women? Anyway, it's barely worth wasting any breath on that crap.
This show is resting atop a hotbed of racist, sexist assumptions, and as it has manifested as such, is itself racist, sexist claptrap for gendered, nationalist penis stroking.
Should I make that clearer? Is that too vague?
This show makes the humiliating antics found through foreigners made to dance and sing Korean folk songs in hanboks to give Koreans a laugh and a boost of pride in "우리 나라" positively pale in the levels of sheer Uncle Tomfoolery. And I ain't saying this because I ain't had a chance to go on Korean television.
This Metropolitician was approached by several major Korean network show "PD's" – who are amongst the lowest forms of life on God's green planet – to go on several Korean comedy shows back when I was young and less fat. I refused, simply because I have a sense of self-pride enough to not go on Korean television and dance around like a chicken ("Make the sound that chickens make in your country!" was the topic of the Sunday-afternoon comedy show I would have been on) or humiliate myself in front of millions of viewers.
"Cause that's not the vision my mom had for me when she popped this Metropolitician out. That's why I didn't go on.
It's not like questionably raced and gendered representation of foreign women is anything new for Korea, or is anything other than completely commonplace:
Oh, let me count the ways this is problematic.
Oh, I could go on, but it's really not worth it. Korean television is not exactly hard to criticize, since it requires few brain cells to watch. But another blackface incident? (Hat tip to the Marmot, obviously).
Look and feel familiar?
Before going any further, you might want to read my previous posts about the matter of blackface and black people in Korea:
"Black Culture, Not Black People"
An opinionated overview of why Korea still doesn't like black people, just black pop culture. Hmm. That sounds familiar...
"Niggers! Savages! It's Just Japaneasy!"
An exploration of some of the ways foreigners are represented visually, on top of gendered representations. This lame-ass show ain't the first place race and gender come together in questionable ways in Korean visual culture.
"Where Do Koreans' Ideas of Race Come From?" (여기는 할글로 번역된 버전이 있어요)
Hmm. I wonder if the fact that school textbooks represented blacks as savages with bones in their noses might have had an influence on any of this.
"Korean Folks Don't Like Black People"
Before you go ballistic over the bombastic title, read it, please.
Shit ain't funny. Let me repeat it for any person reading this who still doesn't get it: THIS SHIT AIN'T FUNNY TO ANYONE BUT IGNORANT PEOPLE. If you actually had international experience, black friends, or even any empathy in your soul, you would be able to understand why THIS IS OFFENSIVE, EVEN IF YOU DIDN'T "INTEND" IT TO BE.
Is anyone really surprised? The "international understanding" cover is a thinly-veiled cover for sexually ogling female foreign bodies – why are they all scantily-clad again? The entire enterprise is offensive – so why would anyone really be surprised when a comedian comes out in blackface and starts dancing with the one African-American woman on stage?
And Leslie, Leslie. I remember secretly rooting for you when I saw that you had become Korea's first official civil servant – my friend who works out of Jesse Jackson's office in Chicago chatted me up on AOL with the news, actually. We was proud of you.
And frankly, as a fellow black person, I was a little disappointed to see you on that show. I liked that image better, of the strong, intelligent Black woman. You certainly didn't deserve that asshole's treatment – but I really can't be surprised, given the racist assumptions of many in this place. I can only say that I hope he has at least apologized in person, even if KBS2 won't do it in public.
Your present line of work is your own choice to make, but given what you surely know about this place, the way you were seen on that show – can we really say we were surprised?
And KBS2 – you can kiss my fat, brown ass.
"It wasn't meant to offend."
SO?! Hello?! It did. It does. It will, if done again. Same lame excuse the Bubble Sisters made. And to all those who followed that line – "Oh, we didn't know" or "we didn't mean it" – so when does one know?
Fellow Korean viewers seemed to be able to figure it out. Koreans, as a group, "know." So why doesn't a fucking television network know? And what kind of incident would it have to take to make it clear to studio execs? Maybe they should try that shit when Hines Ward comes back into town.
Yes, things have gotten a lot better since His Highness cried on Korean TV, met the president, and sat with the Amerasian chillens on TV.
Is KBS 2 sorry? No.
They need to take Cheong Myeong-hun's stank ass off the show as a sign of apology.
Oh – I know – how about they make one in the first place?
I know I just made that podcast with Regina basically saying that Korea's an OK place for black folks – with qualifications – but the Dark Side calleth...man. Gotta keep the blood pressure down...down...