BTS fans slam racist caricature mocking their Grammys loss

A caricature depicting BTS with bruised faces amid rise in anti-Asian violence sparked furor

Entertainment Desk March 18, 2021

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. 

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.

Several US citizens on Twitter, however, deemed the cards racist, especially owing to the rise in anti-Asian violence across the country.

"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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