K-pop band member gets flak for 'racist' imitation

Red Velvet singer Wendy doing an impression of how African-Americans speak on talk-show Talkmon.
Red Velvet singer Wendy doing an impression of how African-Americans speak on talk-show Talkmon.PHOTO: OLIVE/FACEBOOK

SEOUL • A member of popular South Korean girl group Red Velvet, Wendy, has come under fire for doing an impression of how African-Americans speak.

The 24-year-old, who grew up in Canada and the United States, had been asked on the South Korean talk-show Talkmon to discuss the different ways in which English is spoken in the US, said reports on allkpop and PopCrush websites.

In the episode that aired on Monday, she was seen doing an impression of how white women speak and going into stereotypical valley-girl mode.

She then did an imitation of how black women speak, complete with wagging fingers and pursed lips.

International viewers of the show immediately took offence and went on social media to chastise her for being racially insensitive.

Twitter user @alderbluee wrote that what Wendy did "was totally wrong". The singer "is a grown woman and she should be careful with her actions".

User @delgado709 tweeted: "I'm so disappointed in Wendy... the imitation she did here is incredibly discriminatory and disrespectful.

"She's coming from a group that excels in R&B... and you'd think she'd know better... Wendy needs to know what she did was wrong and needs to be educated on that matter."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2018, with the headline 'K-pop band member gets flak for 'racist' imitation'. Print Edition | Subscribe