AceShowbiz - TMZ has angered social media users after it appeared to mock "Parasite" cast and South Korean boy group A.C.E. The news outlet, which is based in Los Angeles, California, is accused of racism after a video shows its anchor and journalist making fun of the Oscar-winning movie's stars and the idols for not speaking English during their encounter with its reporter.
In the video, actress Park So Dam dodged a question by the reporter who asked, "What does it mean for you as a Korean culture?" She only responded with a smile and walked away. The anchor said, "Okay she doesn't like to talk, let's try this lady."
The video then shows another lady in a car who got asked a similar question about what "Parasite" wins mean for Korea. The woman in black is seen saying, "No, no, no," while waving her hand to the camera. "Now that you have got the fancy Oscars, you think you are too good to talk to us? You shallow, selfish, entitled," the anchor commented.
In the studio, a journalist came to a conclusion, "None of them speak English." When actor Song Kang Ho responded to the reporter's question with "Thank you very much," the journalist said, "No he has any idea what to say."
Later, the anchor mistook Byeongkwan and Jun of A.C.E. as members of the more popular boy group BTS (Bangtan Boys). The boys, who also don't speak English, answered the reporter's question about "Parasite" Oscars wins with the help of a translator. "They translated our questions into Korean language but never translated the answer back to us in English," the journalist in the studio claimed as he had no idea what Byeongkwan and Jun said.
K-Pop columnist Jeff Benjamin shared a video of the segment and called out TMZ for disrespecting the South Korean stars. "So disrespectful in so many ways. This isn't @TMZ's first racist incident with Asian people, even specifically with K-pop stars," he wrote. "Also, as if artists like BTS and A.C.E have nothing better to do than translate? So disgraceful."
Fans have also weighed in on TMZ's alleged racist overtones, with one commenting, "Did they really call the 2 members from ace as 2 members from bts like they purposefully couldn't make the difference between the two groups? Every single sentence in here is racist af and gets my blood boiling. The disrespect is unacceptable..."
Another wrote, "Plus the usual not being able to differentiate between A.C.E and BTS. All Asians still seem to look the same for them? BTW, I guess TMZ thought the manager (?) is a translator? I have rarely seen any translators with Kpop bands."
"Byeongkwan and Jun and the Parasite cast and crew should NOT have had to go through this. This is horrible. Blocked and reporting TMZ," someone else came in support of the actors and singers. Another person added, "I sincerely want to understand how people like TMZ are still in business after EVERYTHING they have done to artists in general not just Korean artists, because it is a true mystery to me."
TMZ has not responded to the backlash.