A trading card brand apologized for and removed a satirical illustration of Korean boy band, BTS, after social media called it out for racism.
On Tuesday, the brand called Topps announced its Grammy-themed sticker collection called "The Shammy Awards," which portrayed satiric illustrations taking a jibe at many performers including Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift.
The Garbage Pail Kids SHAMMY Awards are back for another year! Featuring your favorite musical talents like Tree-Swift, Stunning STALLION, Buoyant BILLIE and HARRY Boa 🎶🎤💿— Topps (@Topps) March 16, 2021
See the full lineup and collect them here for a limited time: https://t.co/BAx63w26jX pic.twitter.com/SGIj0SpEau
But social media users criticised Topps for its portrayal of BTS.
The caricature showed the K-pop group in a game of Whack-A-Mole with bruised faces, meant to represent their Grammy snub. So following the backlash, Topps issued an apology the next day, announcing they had removed the BTS sticker.
"We hear and understand our consumers who are upset about the portrayal of BTS in our GPK Shammy Awards product and we apologise for including it," Topps tweeted Wednesday.
"We have removed the BTS sticker card from the set, we have not printed any of the sticker card and it will not be available,” reported USA TODAY. The outlet also reached out to BTS and Topps for a comment but BTS has not responded to the situation yet.
.....just learned about the disgusting caricature Topps made of BTS. That is not satire. It’s downright racist. For anyone trying to brush it off as comedic, depicting violence like that toward an Asian group during these times is hateful & dangerous. what in the world.— fatima (@fatimafarha_) March 17, 2021
"The way BTS was depicted in the @Topps card is very similar to racist political cartoons.... which were used to dehumanize POC and sway (white) public opinion," user @evac100 wrote
Hollywood celebrities, on the other hand, took to social media to spread awareness about the rising anti-Asian violence.
To All the Boys I Loved Before actor Lana Condor wrote, "Your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. Please please please check in on us, please please please stand with us. Please. Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren't publicly grieving on social media."
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