After an offensive skit from the SBS show “People Searching For Laughter,” they have finally apologized.
The skit came to the attention of viewers everywhere when the program uploaded it to YouTube after airing it in Korea. The skit is part of an ongoing corner where a young lady, who is preparing to become a comedian, comes home to visit her father, who is extremely against her decision. Each week, the young woman, played by Hong Hyun Hee, is seen in ridiculous costumes that show her getting ready for her comedian evaluation test.
What made people outraged about this particular skit is that the daughter of the house came in with blackface, wearing dreads, with large, overdrawn pink lips, in “jungle”-inspired clothes, and wearing a Native American headdress. By the time the skit ended, music from “The Lion King” OST had started playing, making the daughter jump, stomp, and dance around in what she felt was an imitation of African dancers.
Viewers at once began to voice their disgust at the skit, calling for SBS to pull the skit and apologize. Fans from around the world began to chime in, saying that this type of cultural and racial insensitivity is inexcusable in our world today. “The change of awareness is urgent,” one said.
Even Sam Hammington, a famous Korean variety-show personality who was originally born in New Zealand, took to his Facebook to call out the comedian who participated in the skit, “Hong Hyun Hee appeared on ‘People Searching For Laughter’ in blackface…so pathetic! How long are they going to continue this nonsensical act? Is making fun of a race that hilarious? As a person who has done several comedy shows in the past, I am ashamed.”
With all the outrage, SBS finally spoke out to apologize, “We sincerely apologize for not carrying out a thorough review of the sketch. We have deleted the clip of the skit, and we will make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Most fans are proving to remain unhappy with the trite apology, noting that they don’t apologize for using blackface or for being insensitive, but rather are just blaming the issue on not reviewing the skit well. The question remains though— why did the writers think the skit was acceptable in the first place? Why did the people who participated in the skit think it was acceptable? Why were the people present (including Jung Chan Woo, host of “Hello Counselor”) laughing and finding it so funny? Does the show truly realize why they were so wrong, or are they just apologizing to placate the angry public?
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