Recently, there has been controversy over a group of high school students who portrayed the Ghana dancing pallbearers. The issue in question was the students' use of blackface makeup as they painted their faces darker to portray black people.
In light of this recent controversy, TV personality Sam Okyere expressed his disappointment and sadness on his Instagram account.
The incident dates back to August 3rd when Uijeongbu High School posted graduation photos on their Facebook account. One of the photos gained traction and became a controversy. The photo was the parody of the Ghana Dancing Pallbearers, which is gaining much popularity on Youtube.
The Ghana Dancing Pallbearers are dancers who dance as they carry the coffin during a funeral. This Ghana custom comes from the tradition to send off their loved one with joy rather than mourning because the one that has passed will join the ancestors in the afterlife. This cultural custom has gained the interest of netizens all across the world.
The students at Uijeongbu High School parodied this Ghana Dancing Pallbearers because it was one of the popular trends this year. However, the issue was that the students even painted their faces darker.
This controversy is continuing to rise in Korea as TV personality Sam Okyere made a statement on his Instagram stating: "It is truly unfortunate and saddening that this is occurring in the year 2020. As a black person, black people are very offended by such actions. I understand you wanted to reenact the culture but painting the face was not needed. I wish there aren't such actions in Korea. Please, let's respect each other's cultures."
However, there are still divided opinions over this controversy even after Sam Okyere has made a statement.
Many netizens are stating that blackface in itself is racism and stating that black people's make up has already been acknowledged by the whole world as racism. Many netizens are criticizing the students claiming they didn't' need to go that far as to paint their faces darker. The majority of the netizens claim that this is no different from other foreigners slitting their eyes to portray Asian people.
Yet, there are a handful of netizens who disagree with the controversy stating, "There is an issue with blackface if the students were doing to mock black people but they had no intention of doing that. They were only doing that to portray their culture better." Some of the netizens state that this controversy should be as extreme as it is currently. They state that the students were copying YouTube content with the purity of their hearts and they had no intentions of racism. Some are even criticizing Sam Okyere in instigating the controversy.
"I mean they were only copying a meme or YouTube video on the internet. I don't think they were intentionally being racist."
"Sam Okyere shouldn't have posted the photos with all the student's faces like that on this Instagram account with 190K followers to see."
"It's only a parody. They're just kids."
"Yes this is very racist but San Okyere didn't need to publically announce and show the kids' faces on his Instagram."