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Posted by haydn-an AKP STAFF Thursday, August 6, 2020

TV personality Sam Okyere expresses his deep disappointment and sadness in light of Uijeongbu High School student's blackface controversy

AKP STAFF

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."


View this post on Instagram

참 2020년에 이런 것을 보면 안타깝고 슬퍼요. 웃기지 않습니다!!!! 저희 흑인들 입장에서 매우 불쾌한 행동입니다. 제발 하지 마세요!!!! 문화를 따라하는 것 알겠는데 구지 얼굴 색칠 까지 해야 되요????? 한국에서 이런 행동들 없었으면 좋겠어요!!!!!! 서로의 문화를 존중하는 것 가장 좋습니다. 그리고 기회가 되면 한 번 같이 이야기 하고 싶어요. . . Time and time again why won’t people get that blackface is very offensive and not funny at all!!!!!! There have been so many instances both on and off air where people paint their faces black here in Korea and think it’s funny! It’s not and I am highly against it and highly disappointed. . . You put in so much effort to educate people here in Korea and make them understand that you can appreciate a culture without making mockery of the the people. This has to stop in Korea!!! This ignorance cannot continue!!!!! . . #teakpop#notoblackface#notoignorance

A post shared by 샘 오취리 Sam Okyere (@samokyere1) on

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.

Netizens' commented:

"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."

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mcnd-1-fan542 pts Thursday, August 6, 2020 42
Thursday, August 6, 2020

Like I said before, it would have been a great costume WITHOUT the blackface. I really don't understand why they would do that...

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A29109 pts Thursday, August 6, 2020 5
Thursday, August 6, 2020

We can’t get mad when idiots elongate their eyes to “look” like us and then let this kind of crap fly.

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