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International netizens find Zico's 'Tough Cookie' MV offensive for its use of Confederate flag and derogatory terms

By Pakman   Friday, November 7, 2014   137,620   6,339   0

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Block B Zico's latest MV "Tough Cookie" is receiving attention, but not in a good way as international netizens are reacting negatively to Zico's use of the Confederate flag and derogatory terms.


SEE ALSO: Check out Block B Zico's full 'Sketchers DLT-A' line launch promo clip!


The Confederate flag can be seen at the 3:35 mark and 4:10 mark in the MV above. Zico wears the flag on his right arm as part of the design of his jacket. International netizens are in an uproar over the use of the image, as the flag was used by the southern states of the U.S. during the Civil War to represent their attempt to secede and avoid giving up their African-American slaves. The flag is considered by many to be a symbol of racism, used prominently at KKK rallies, and as some international netizens are misunderstanding Zico's use of "neega" (Korean for "you") for the racial slur, they are accusing him of being racist against African-Americans in the video. Some K-Pop fans have pointed out, however, that it is very likely that neither Zico nor his stylist was aware of the negativity surrounding the Confederate flag.


Zico has also been criticized for his use of a derogatory term usually used against the homosexual population. At the 2:57 mark, Zico says, "You're such a f*ggot b*tch," alarming viewers with his choice of words. As the term was once often used freely by numerous hip hop artists in the past, some have suggested it's possible that Zico picked up the term without knowing its negative connotation.


Netizen reactions have been varied, with the top comments on the video currently being, "... I would like to see this idiot to visit a real hood with that jacket that has confederate flag on and get his ass handed to him real quick. ...," "I really hope that you all understand that probably he's just wearing what the stylist give to him. ...," and, "... The Confederate flag has to go. There are many good qualities about the South, but there are other ways to glorify them than just this one. Its meaning has not and will not change: even if Southerners consider it to be just a symbol, it is still entrenched in racism. ..." [sic]. 


Regardless of whether Zico meant to offend or not, this issue, as well as Red Velvet Wendy's recent controversy, suggests that K-Pop stars need to be more aware of and sensitive about their growing international audience.




  1. Zico
  2. tough cookie


breeezes Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I LOVED THE SONG, the f word didn't ruin it for me. but i just thought it was a bit weird hearing it...I'm not defending Zico, but I'm not bashing him either.

Great job, but wished he chose another word. The word is flung around in America, so maybe he didn't seem to know how offensive it really was, regardless I think Zico should cut down on the swearing because using offensive words in a foreign language is risky.

Alexgotjams Monday, December 22, 2014

I swear..people really?-.-

Ziahkay Tuesday, December 22, 2015

theres an actual problem here people arent overreacting

YG_Love_21 Saturday, December 6, 2014

I swear... people needs to understand the deference between neega and the n word...

IT IS DIFFERENT! NEEGA IS KOREAN!!! I HAS A DIFFERENT MEANING!!! NO KPOP ARTIST HAD SAID THE N WORD! ONLY NEEGA!!! GET IT RIGHT!!!

Seriously... this is annoying us all....

daydreamroses Friday, December 5, 2014

The confederate flag to black people holds the same ill will that the japanese rising sun flag holds to koreans. like seriously what an asshat zico is.

Choi_Minliu Thursday, November 27, 2014

y'all are quick to yab about this but when GD and Taeyang do blackface suddenly oppa didn't mean it.

rrhian_blade Wednesday, December 3, 2014

No, GD did mean it. Just not in the way that everyone who is uninformed about what blackface actually is thought he did. He wasn't in any way trying to copy that in the MV... rather, when he took the white mask away to reveal an all black face, he was using it to represent "blackness of heart", so to speak. If he were really mimicking blackface, he would have had to either keep his lips their normal color, or paint them a different color. Additionally, he would also need to exaggerate them extremely. So no, he was not mocking black people. He was using a metaphor to describe how he pretends to be pure but isn't on the inside.

Keznaa rrhian_blade Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Didnt he imitate Michael brown after he got shot in instagram? Black faced and his shirt over his head?

ReynaHam Sunday, November 16, 2014

The only people defending Zico over wearing the Confederate flag and saying the homophobic f-slur are people who don't know what those two things mean or represent. Or likely aren't people of Black/African background or non-heterosexuality.

kynejin Saturday, November 15, 2014

What's KKK?

ReynaHam Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ku Klux Klan. White movement that started in the mid to late 1800s that hated Black people.

kynejin Sunday, November 16, 2014

@ReynaHam thanks :) now I know :)

sonevision Friday, November 14, 2014




sonevision Friday, November 14, 2014

THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN!!! ;SEO MAKNAE WINNING!!

poboy Friday, November 14, 2014

Oh and Don Millz is apparently trying to be the K-version of Mike Jonez by repeating lines and his name throughout his verses. ; Shit's funny as hell but I'm with it.

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