Actor Park Eun Seok has issued an apology regarding the portrayal of his character.
Popular K-Drama Penthouse has ruffled some feathers with their latest episode in Season 3. As the drama introduced a new character who is from the United States, they decked him in dreads and completed it with an accent that seems to take cues from AAVE (“African American Vernacular English”). Both actions are considered highly offensive and a form of cultural appropriation.
In addition to finding the character portrayal in itself offensive, viewers have also pointed out that the actor himself, Park Eun Seok, should have been able to advise the production team. Park Eun Seok lived in New York for 15 years before moving back to South Korea, giving him sufficient exposure to the intricacies of racism and culture.
The international audience were aptly disgusted and took to Twitter to express their sentiments.
There’s a reason why Black people are protective of our hairstyles, our slang, our culture and our people. Because at the end of the day no matter how much we might love other cultures, this is how we’re represented, this is what they see us as. #boycottpenthouse #SBSwhy https://t.co/axiej2r10I
— Kae King (@TheKaeKing) June 11, 2021
they literally could’ve done this same exact scene without being racist and looking fucking stupid like ???? what was the point https://t.co/Ogs5Zg35oS
— ru ⁷🧋military wife era (@jminvantae) June 11, 2021
Fans were even more disappointed when they realized that the cast previously participated in a campaign that stood against racism.
SBS has yet to issue any statement or apology.