The ‘Best Luck’ singer is under fire for allegedly making a reference to ‘Roots’ main character Kunta Kinta while fooling around with Baekhyun and Xiumin.
EXO‘s member Chen has landed in hot water for allegedly making racist remarks during a live broadcast. The 25-year-old South Korean singer was playing games and fooling around with fellow EXO-CBX members, Baekhyun and Xiumin, on a live stream of “Saturdays Also” when he made the controversial comments.
When Baekhyun put dark lipstick on Chen, the latter jokingly commented on his friend’s excessive over-lining which made his lips appear to be bigger than they actually are, “I look like Michol.” While Michol is a fictional character from South Korean cartoon “Dooly the Little Dinosaur”, it is often criticized as blackface caricature.
Chen also mentioned that he looked like Kunta Kinta, a main character on 1977’s hit miniseries “Roots”. “Isn’t this Kunta Kinte?” he said, while the English subtitle read, “My lips look too plump,” causing a debate among his fans about whether or not the idol made a racist remark.
Kunta Kinta is a slave who is taken from his home country and forced to work in America. The TV show based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” has become a symbol for black empowerment.
After Chen compared his lips to the physical appearances of those characters, he has received mixed responses from fans. “Did Jongdae say KUNTA KINTE? SOMEONE SAY IT AIN’T SO SOMEONE TELL ME IM HEARING WRONG,” one asked in disbelief.
Did Jongdae say KUNTA KINTE?
SOMEONE SAY IT AIN’T SO
SOMEONE TELL ME IM HEARING WRONG. pic.twitter.com/FK19EmPAEg
— Ᏸ𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘵 (@yungbrittbrat) April 15, 2018
Another fan who defended Chen replied, “It’s simple..you’re hearing wrong and everybody who thinks this is what he said is simply hearing what they want to hear. At this point, I feel sorry for all the miserable people thinking stuff like this.”
Some fans are at war with each other as some of them chose to distance themselves from the group due to Chen’s controversial comments. “The fans who are leaving Jongdae and EXO because of this issue, go on. It’s your decision. It’s just disappointing that as fans you should know and understand him the most. What he said is not right but to drop the people you ‘loved’ just like that?” one argued.
Some claimed that “Kunta Kinte lips” is a slang term for full lips in South Korea. EXO-Ls, however, plan to help make Chen realize that this kind of reference is offensive. “In South Korea, ‘kunta kinte lips’ is a slang term for full lips. It’s been like this for years. Since a lot of EXOLs are upset, just know that a KEXOL is going to be meeting Chen today and explain to him the situation in a letter. Let’s unite EXOLs, We are one,” one fan tweeted.