South Korea and BET
I’ve seen a lot of opinions on this and for some reason they are pretty much universally negative. Not saying there’s not a reason for that, because there definitely is, but there’s definitely some positives that are going unnoticed about this. So let’s talk about it.
- Representation for Black people in Korea
- Let’s be honest, there’s not much representation for Black people in Korea. With BET now in Korea, now there’s A LOT more Black representation on Korean TV even if it’s just one channel. Now, Black people (Black Koreans and Black people in general) will have a channel to turn to and know they can always see people who look similar to them. This still has flaws of course (namely, that BET programming is geared towards African Americans, so Black Koreans don’t really get to see all parts of themselves) but it’s definitely a start.
- More respectful representation of Black people to the general Korean public
- By now, we all know that representation means fuck all if it’s terrible and further adds to marginalization of already marginalized people. BET (for all it’s flaws) does have some pretty varied representation. On any given day, you can turn to BET and see multiple different types of Black people. You can see Black people in love, light skin Black people, dark skinned Black people, black men and women, thugs, gangsters, businessmen and businesswomen, Hip-hop moguls, models, office workers, short hair, straight hair, kinky hair, long hair, natural hair, weaves, and so on. It’s important for others, especially in a largely homogeneous country such as South Korea, to see people in various different lights. In Korea, Black people tend to be portrayed as heavily stereotyped and one dimensional. (Now don’t get me wrong, there’s NOTHING wrong with Black people who fit certain stereotypes). I think this will help Korean people learn a little bit more about Black people.
- If this does well, it could inspire Korea to get it’s OWN network that’s geared towards and made by Black Korean people
- That’s self-explanatory. But basically, if this does well cable companies will probably be more likely to pick up a station that Black Korean people made for themselves, because now they’ll (cable companies) know that there’s an audience for Black media.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still think there will be some flaws. Especially since BET is still flawed itself. It still has misogyny, transphobia, homophobia , colorism, some of the shows are full of hotep bullshit, and so on. So that’s clearly a big issue. And obviously, BET didn’t end racism in the US so of course it won’t end racism in any other country. However, I still think there is still some good on BET that could really be good for people, not just in Korea (although that’s the point of this post) but in the world in general. I don’t think BET is gonna have a HUGE social change in regards to race relations in Korea either way if we’re being honest but I do think that it could reach quite a few people, especially in Khiphop circles since they are the ones who are most likely going to be attracted to this network. I just want people to know that there IS some good to be found in this. Some people will use this as a tool to become more educated and some will continue to be fucking idiots. Just like with anything. I still think it’s worth thinking about though.