After the recent controversy with a German radio announcer that sparked #RacismIsNotAnOpinion, Twitter has once again erupted with #RacismIsNotComedy.
The outrage blew up today when trading card company Topps, in collaboration with Garbage Pail Kids, a parody of the ’80s collectible toys Cabbage Patch Kids, released images of its annual Shammy Awards.
In the set of collectible cards/stickers featuring this year’s GRAMMY performers, BTS was depicted as wounded and bruised “moles” in the popular arcade game Whac-A-Mole.
Arguably, it is a satirical take on how the music awards show, which is already riddled with accusations of corruption and manipulation, had “beaten up” BTS, by giving them a token nomination only so they can be invited to perform.
Not to mention holding the ARMY fandom hostage to watch the pre-show and main show by putting all BTS content at the latter parts of both to bring up dwindling ratings and viewership.
The lampoon would’ve been humorous if it was the recurring theme in all of the cards. But it was not.
Compared to the other featured artists, whose illustrations depicted their GRAMMY stages, BTS’ caricatures did not have anything to do with the theme of their performance at all.
BTS recreated an exact copy of the Los Angeles GRAMMY stage in Seoul, Korea, and ended their performance on top of the 1,095-foot-tall Parc 1 Tower–nothing close to any arcade game.
But this isn’t what exactly triggered the BTS ARMY, Asian communities, and anti-racism groups to launch the #RacismIsNotComedy dialogue.
In the caricatures, BTS are the only artists portrayed with images of violence and it obviously leaves a bad taste considering the current social atmosphere.
Particularly in the wake of rising hate crimes against Asians in Western countries, especially the U.S., finding humor in a supposed “artwork” depicting violence towards Asians–artists, public figures, or otherwise–is certainly not okay.
Topps’ latest statement on Twitter, which came 19 hours after first announcing the product that included the vile imagery of BTS, did not help in improving the narrative at all.
Just today, news of another racism-driven shooting spree in Atlanta had killed eight people: six of them were Asian women and at least four were identified to be of Korean descent.
This is just one of the many Asian hate crimes that have been reported since the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Thousands of others are feared to be suffered by the victims in silence.
But even before COVID-19, racist hate crimes have already been rampant all over the world, more so in Western countries.
Fueled by this latest trigger, ARMYs are now leading the conversation into educating more people about anti-Asian violence and how even the littlest things can have a big impact on the current environment.
ARMYs are now also sharing tons of relevant information about how people can help #StopAsianHate and what else we can do to support the movement.
For more information on Anti-Asian Violence Resources, check out anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/ or follow the #RacismIsNotComedy, #StopAsianHate, and #AsiansAreHumans threads on Twitter.