A trading card featuring Korean-pop group BTS was removed from circulation Wednesday following complaints on social media that it promoted hate amid a recent spike in violence against those of Asian descent.
As first reported by Buzzfeed, the card was part of the Garbage Pail Kids’ 2021 “Shammy Awards,” an annual collection of satirical cartoons of Grammy nominees such as Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Taylor Swift and others.
The BTS card depicted the wildly popular boy band as whack-a-mole characters, their faces covered in bruises, black eyes and stitches after being clobbered with a Grammy.
The card was released Tuesday, the same day that a 21-year-old man killed eight people — including six women of Asian descent — at a string of Atlanta-area spas. Thousands of Twitter users felt the card was tone-deaf, prompting a swift backlash from the band’s followers. Some noted that the card featuring BTS was the only one in which the artists were subjected to violence.
The card’s release comes amid an increase in violence against Asian and Asian American people. A Cal State San Bernardino survey of police departments in 16 major cities recently found a total of 122 anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020 — a 149% increase from 49 in 2019.
Topps, the company that sells the Garbage Pail Kids cards, Major League Baseball cards and other collectible items, responded to the criticism Wednesday by pulling the BTS card from the set. It also issued an apology indicating that the card had not been printed and will not be available.
“We hear and understand our consumers who are upset about the portrayal of BTS in our GPK Shammy Awards product,” the statement read.
But many BTS fans felt that wasn’t enough. Using the hashtag #RacismIsNotComedy, critics called for the company to acknowledge that the cartoon’s conceit itself is problematic, so as to prevent similar images from being created in the future.
Here’s a sample of what BTS fans are saying about the pulled card.
they removed the card because their “consumers were upset” & not because the image itself was racist? take accountability for your actions. you are part of the problem as to why there’s a rampant rise to anti-asian hate & violence. #StopAAPIHate #RacismIsNotComedy https://t.co/LAFyZg5sBg
— dessyᴮᴱ⁷生 (@Dessytothemax) March 17, 2021
You chose to announce the removal of the product without acknowledging why people are upset. Keeping this “apology” ambiguous w/o addressing your stand on racist hate crimes & violence still leaves the door open to your company condoning such acts.
DO BETTER.#RacismIsNotComedy https://t.co/Y2b82D0X0Z
— ᴮᴱBao⁷ ⟭⟬+⟬⟭💜 🍊 (@baoTAEfuL) March 17, 2021
Hi @MLB. Less than a month ago you made this statement. I hope you are prepared to back it up by calling on your collaborator @Topps to take accountability for their artwork that attempted to pass violence against Asians off as satire. I am linking their initial statement below: https://t.co/rh7WruEYxc
— ᴮᴱchels⁷ (@ndeverydayistay) March 17, 2021
Source by www.latimes.com