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Were Kim Je Dong and ‘Healing Camp’ Victims of Racism?

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2012.08.06 17:10 Mwave Lee, JinHo Translation Credit : Erika Kim

SBS’ Healing Camp recently aired an episode which showed the MCs visit London for the London Olympics. The episode wasn’t all about entertainment, however, as in one scene, a man was caught flashing a seemingly racist expression to the camera.

Were Kim Je Dong and ‘Healing Camp’ Victims of Racism?

The alleged slur appeared on the August 4 broadcast of SBS’ Healing Camp. MCs Lee Kyung Kyu, Kim Je Dong and Han Hye Jin were shown cheering for the Korean athletes in the audience at the actual games in Britain.

In the middle of the game, one man sitting behind Kim Je Dong took hold of the corners of his own eyes and pulled them back, making it look as if he was mocking the Asian MCs.

The scene went viral on the web, and netizens started debating over what the expression could possibly mean. Some said the man was being racist, while others said it could’ve just been ‘a joke’.

The problem is that the action indeed is often used to mock Asians. The word ‘Chink’, a derogatory term for Asians, also often follows the act. In February, ESPN was put under fire for using the word ‘Chink’ in reference the Taiwanese American NBA player Jeremy Lin.

The controversy is expected to continue at least for a while, as the motion is rarely used for friendly uses.

Photo credit: SBS

Kim Je Dong 20120806 Healing Camp 20120806
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