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K-pop’s Faulty Perception of a Homogenous West

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A few weeks ago some friends and I headed to downtown Los Angeles to catch the highly anticipated CN Blue and FT Island joint concert.

While the show itself blew me away, it was the absolutely electrifying energy coming from the crowd that made the experience so much more memorable. I was struck speechless by the sheer amount of people who attended the show and even more astounded by the diversity. Men, women, blacks, whites, Indians, Latinos, Asians—everyone was there representing for K-pop and singing along to lyrics in a language that was mostly foreign to them. At the risk of sounding terribly corny with a side of cheesy, I was proud to be a K-pop fan that day because I truly felt that it represented a global community united through the love of a specific kind of music.

Some weeks later, CN Blue released the MV for “Hey You.” And the pride that I felt that day dissipated. Yeah, it was that dramatic.

I’d like to assume that “Hey You” was supposed to be set somewhere in the West. And why do I assume that? Not gonna lieIt might have something to do with the exclusive all-white cast they used in the video. It was almost as if CN Blue was shouting to viewers, Look at us! Theres white people in our video! Were in America! If there is one thing I learned about watching Korean music videos and Bollywood films, it’s that Caucasian people always signify the Western world. And all jokes aside, what about the huge melting pot of folks that bought tickets and attended CN Blue’s show in Los Angeles? Why were they not represented in that Western-set video? And why do they continue to be left out of music videos that seem to be trying to appeal to a global audience? Needless to say, I am broaching upon a sensitive topic so believe me, I’m treading lightly.

It’s not uncommon for K-pop artists to use foreigners in their videos. After all, the very essence of the Hallyu wave is to share Korean culture with people abroad. K-pop has continued to expand throughout Asia while gaining more and more popularity in the United States and Europe. JYJ recently performed in South America to huge fanfare. Music Banks trek to Paris saw a full house. K-pop has been around the world more frequently than Kim Kardashian has been around the block. So why is there such a limited view of the Western diaspora? And why do K-pop music videos equate “white” with “the West”?

To some, it seems almost frivolous to cast foreigners in music videos. Why go out of your way to cast foreigners when theres hundreds of Korean actors and actresses just itching to be in a K-pop video? But I disagree. I think there are legitimate reasons for non-Asians to be featured in K-pop music videos. Notice I wrote legitimate reasons, not good reasons. First off, the idea of foreigners is trendy, cool, and allows music videos to stick out from the pack. Within a saturated music industry, record companies want their videos to have some element of jarring. Secondly, K-pop uses non-Asians to behave in ways that are considered out of the norm. More on that later. And thirdly, they appeal to a broad global audience.

But I don’t buy the idea that K-pop’s casting of foreigners actually increases “global appeal.” For one, the videos don’t represent global diversity. Sorry, CN Blue, but an all-white cast in your video doesn’t make you global or diverse. And remember when Se7en introduced his song “Girls” on 106th and Park with Lil Kim? African American viewers didn’t rush to go out and buy Se7en’s albums just because a black woman was featured in the video (in fact, I’m 100% positive that Lil Kim only scared most black people away from the song, but that’s neither here nor there). So the idea of using foreigners to appeal to foreigners doesn’t seem plausible. Personally, I started listening to K-pop despite the fact that the artists looked nothing like me. The appeal was there even without the familiarity.

Although I dont fundamentally yearn to see more African Americans like myself (or any other ethnicity) in K-pop videos, it still grinds my gears when those videos portray the Western world as a homogenous society thats home to only one kind of person. And when it comes to this particularly sensitive topic, no one quite pushes my buttons more than the Hip Hop kings themselves, G-Dragon and T.O.P.

Ah, G-Dragon and T.O.P. The men who, ironically, made me fall back in love with Hip Hop. The guys whose swags are, as Kanye West would say, on a hundred thousand trillion. When K-pop fans offer up groups they think have crossover appeal for success in the U.S., these boys (and their Big Bang bretheren) usually top that list. But while they have such broad appeal overseas, it’s almost as if only a certain kind of Westerner appeals to them. And I think that’s the key: what are the perceptions that Korean artists (like GD and T.O.P.) have about the West and what are the perceptions they have about Caucasian people, particularly women?

When I used to watch a ton of Indian films, I noticed that many white women were used in scenes that were overtly sexual. They were portrayed as the antithesis to the virginal, traditional Indian woman. Its a trend that Ive also seen in K-pop. The guys in the music videos touch foreign girls more intimately. Theyre quicker to go in for the kiss (and no, not the K-drama pseudo-kiss). The girls are expected to do things that are perceived to be normal behavior for a girl from the West.

This same hypersexualized behavior is considered inappropriate for Korean girls. Western women are sought after in music videos, but usually end up representing heartbreak, infidelity, and an overall dysfunctional relationship. Its an awkward double-edged sword where Caucasian women are obsessed over and glorified, but are also demeaned and a lot of times disrespected in several forms. Check out U-Kiss Shut Up MV if you think Im kidding. I mean, honestly, the song is called Shut Up. SMH.

In regards to the lack of diversity in K-pop videos, Im not asking that K-pop take on the daunting and noble task of bringing together all people of different creeds and representing them all in their videos. Lord knows American and European entertainment have diversity issues of their own. But as a person of color who loves K-pop and knows a myriad of fans who love it as much as I do, I do ask that K-pop acknowledge that fans in the Westthe same ones who buy their concert tickets, albums, and merchandiserepresent more than just one demographic. And that when they do start showing more diversity, I hope they realize that the stereotype of foreign women as overly sexual is not a flattering one.

(FNC Entertainment, Im No Picasso, Mixtapes and Liner Notes, YG Entertainment)

Watch: Song Triplets Say They Omit Daebak In Adorable Video Message

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Watch: Song Triplets Say They Omit Daebak In Adorable Video Message

Watch: Song Triplets Say They Leave out Daebak In Adorable Video Messageilmare42 April 30, 2016 0 Song Il Gook’s liked triplets have sent a candy message to their friend Daebak!

In the video, the ladstake a seat on their play mats and say, “Daebak, we miss you!” Minguk says, “Louder!” and the boys repeat it. Manse then turns to Minguk and says in concern, “The baby’s going to be shocked at the noise, he’ll cry!”

Lee Soo Jin writes a message from Daebak, Seol Ah, and Soo Ah in the caption in English, “‘Daehan, Minguk, and Manse, let’s meet back and play soon! We are lacking you lot a lot!’”

JB Supports GOT7 In spite of No longer Being Ready To accomplish At Concert

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JB Supports GOT7 In spite of  No longer Being Ready  To accomplish At Concert

JB Supports GOT7 In spite ofNo longer Being In a positionTo accomplish At Concertboxclub April 30, 2016 0 Even supposing he used to be not able to take part in the concert, GOT7 contributors made certainto recognize fellow member JB.

On this day, Yugyeom mentioned, “JB wrote in our crew SNS chat, “I know and accept as true withthat you're going to do well. I’m cheering for you. Do smartly and come back.” It turned into heartwarming and touching.”

Youngjae and JB were set to hang a duet degreeyet Youngjae explained, “I’m going to head on stage aloneand take a glance at out to fill JB’s place. JB felt actually sorry about it. So I’m going to paintings even harder.”

Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo and Seolhyun Are The pinnacle 3 In Emblem Power

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Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo and Seolhyun Are The pinnacle  3 In Emblem Power

Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo and Seolhyun Are The pinnacle3 In EmblemEnergy boxclub April 30, 2016 0 After compiling effectsall through the month of April, the heightunits who dangle the maximum in brand power were revealed, with actor Song Joong Ki taking the #1 rank.

After reading 24 advertisement models with 63,684,096 information results during the period of time between March 28 to April 29, the Korean IndustryStudies plant have concluded that Song Joong Ki has overwhelmingly had the largest brand power during the month of April. The 2nd oneposition went to Song Hye Kyo and the 3rd went to AOA member Seolhyun.

Brand power comes from inspectingthe knowledge from the brand, communique value, media value, and social price and compiling it into an index of ways wide the achieve of that style was.

“Running Man” PD Explains Why The Korea-China Reunion Won’t Be Shown In Korea

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“Running Man” PD Explains Why The Korea-China Reunion Won’t Be Shown In Korea

PD Lee Hwan Jin explained, “Although we are in discussions appropriate now, the chance is primethat you're going tonow not be readyto observe this episode in Korea. First off, the ideas between the Chinese and Korean versions are so different. The picture of the 2displaysis totallyother from each and every other. Every othertrouble is that it's mileschallengingto discovera published fourth dimensionin additionunderstanding the language barrier in the show. The Korean cast joined the episode to assist out the Chinese cast members. It changed into a amusingatmosphere and a satisfied collaboration yeton account of the air time, it can be trickyto turn it in Korea.”

The Chinese cast members got here to Korea with the episode idea of “Spending a holiday in Korea” and enjoyed their time in Gapyung along side the Korean cast members. PD Lim Hyung Taek led this reunion.

Meanwhile, at theMay just 1 episode of the show, the “Goo-Won” couple will be reunited, as Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won, of the wildly popular drama “Descendants of the Sun” superstar as visitors on the show.

Upcoming Korean film "Waiting For The Snow"

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Added the approaching Korean film "Waiting For The Snow"'s page to HanCinema database"Waiting For The Snow" (2015)Directed through Jang Hee-cheolWith Lee Hyo-rim, Bae Jin-man, Kang Seong-gook,...SynopsisJust stepped into society, Sunwoo gets inebriated at the primarycorporatecollecting and encounters Seong-gook whom she walks around with in the process the night. A warm-hearted movie amongsthabitual events.Release date in Korea : 2016/05/12

Watch: Sechs Kies Make Their Long-Awaited Reunion On “Infinite Challenge”

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Watch: Sechs Kies Make Their Long-Awaited Reunion On “Infinite Challenge”

On the March 30 episode of MBC typedisplay “Infinite Challenge,” after polishing off their Hanamana matchfunctioning at a dual carriagewayleisurepreventin addition at a folk village, Sechs Kies make it to their ultimate destination at the Sangam Global Cup stadium. Sechs Kies members record audio messages for their fans and just five hours sooner than the event, the functionality is at last promoted during the “Infinite Challenge” Twitter page. The members acquire in the dressing room as they wonder about how many fans may be in a position to make it, eitherfearful every bitsmartly as excited.

Lee Jae Jin, who is totally anxious, says, “It’s no longeronly one or two years yet sixteen years that experience passed and so my self assurance has reduced in size only as much.” Regardless of his concerns, however, fans listen some the concert thru Twitter and one at a time make their way to the stadium.

Finally, the 6th member of Sechs Kies, Go Ji Yong, seems in front of the opposite members. Go Ji Yong has now not made a unmarried broadcast appearance since their disbandment, leaving the entertainment industry and achieving good fortune in the company world. As he comes in, the other members burst out in massive smiles. Go Ji Yong says, “Through “Infinite Challenge,” I'm hoping that our members will be capable ofadvertise more actively. Even though information technology doesn’t pertain to me, I do sincerely hope that for the other members,” appearing his choice for their reunion.

4 Hit Dramas That Broadcasters Are Sorry They Overlooked Out On

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4 Hit Dramas That Broadcasters Are Sorry They Overlooked Out On

4 Hit Dramas That Broadcasters Are Sorry They Ignored Out Onorionight April 30, 2016 0 It’s difficult for a broadcaster to inform how neatly a drama will do earlier than information technology airs, so they have got to measure the prospectivedangers of a undeniable drama before agreeing to air it. As a result ofsure factors, a broadcaster can turn down a drama, yet in doing so they do no longer know whether they’re turning away a gigantic money-makers.

1. “Descendants of the Sun” (KBS)

Okay, we all saw this coming. To get started with proposed to fellow public broadcaster SBS, KBS ended up with the displaying rights to the record-smashing hit. So why did SBS turn down “Descendants of the Sun”? They concept that the topics of crisis and war wouldn’t take a seat well with viewers, no longer to mention the environment would make product placement (PPL) more difficult, which means lost ad revenue. Plus, the hefty investment required for the drama scared them off.

Watch: B1A4 Member Sandeul Displays He's As Type As He Is Talented

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Watch: B1A4 Member Sandeul Displays  He's As Type As He Is Talented

Watch: B1A4 Member Sandeul DisplaysHe's equallyType As He Is Talentedboxclub April 30, 2016 0 B1A4 member Sandeul’s abilities as a singer are well-known yet he also showed how kind and figuring out he is at thecontemporary episode of MBC’s Duet Song Festival.”

On the April 29 episode of the MBC range program, singers competed opposed to OST queen Lyn for an opportunity to win on the show, adding Stephanie, Ken of VIXX, and Defconn. Sandeul and unmarriedmom Cho Sun Young are the 5th contestants on the show. The 2 of them make a choice to sing “As One Says” which changed into popular in the process the “Infinite SituationTrack Festival” when Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Juk sang it.

Sandeul introduces the song, saying, “This song represents Sun Young noona’s heart,” as he starts the song with his mild voice. Cho Sun Young follows soon afterwards, her feelings intertwined with her vocals.

Who Are The woman Team Contributors Who Would Prevail As A Solo Singer?

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Who Are The woman  Team  Contributors Who Would Prevail As A Solo Singer?

EXIDs SoljiGirl group EXID member Solji is the “female Hwang Chi Yeol, having shown that much achievement on music rivalry shows. In particular, she seemed on “King of Mask Singer” when it was just a pilot prove as a New Year special and endured her lead at the show till information technologyhave becomenormal programming. Not just on “King of Mask Singer” but also on “Duet Song Festival,” she has been ready to stay her name as the singing queen. Even giving vocal courses to the guinea pig PD on “My Little Television,” Solji is understood to were a vocal teacherahead of her debut as an idol group member.

Every unmarried member of talented girl group MAMAMOO has talented qualifications in singing and performing. Thoughmajor vocal Sun has already debuted with her solo task “Solar’s Emotion,” the public has recently came upon the charm of member Wheein as well. Her vocal skills are a given but Wheein also has the charms that might existcapable of captivate the public and raise even more interest in her as a solo singer.

Just like Solji, Wheein has been active on music competition shows. She won on the Thanksgiving special for “Duet Song Festival,” and recently took on a senior in the music industry when she starred on “King of Mask Singer.” She has a hilariously entertaining charm and just like how she showed us with her featuring on songs with Kim Heechul, Geeks Louie, and CNBLUE, there is an absolutely new picture that she presentations United Statesexcept for MAMAMOO.

Korean film "Next Door Husband and Wife"

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Added the Korean film "Next Door Husband and Wife"'s page to HanCinema database"Next Door Husband and Wife" (2016)Directed through Gi Dae-hoWith Lee Eun-mi-I, Park Jeong-hwan, Kang Seong-min-I, Ah Ri,...Synopsis'The couples have changed! With each and every other!'Eun-ji and Seung-ho, Seong-sik and Joo-ran pass into an area at an identical times. Eun-ji is lonely as a result of her husband's widespread late-nights and Seong-sik looks afterthe homewhilst his wife works. One day, Seong-sik is going over to Eun-ji's residenceto go back a kityetfinally finish up drinking wine with her. Seong-sik drunkenly kisses Eun-ji and the 2 spend an evening in every one others' arms. They continue to fulfill secretly like that and one day lie to their husband and wife and leave on a shuttle together. However, Seong-sik returns house because his pipes have burst and Eun-ji witnesses her husband and the girl next door, Joo-ran in bed together. A couple of months later, Seong-sik, Eun-ji, Seung-ho and Joo-ran run into one another but with other partners...Are you living with the only y'all love?Release date in Korea : 2016/04/28