KCON is one of the biggest Hallyu-centered festivals in the world, inviting thousands of fans each year from numerous countries to attend the events.
While many are most aware of the K-Pop-filled concerts that happen each night of the festival, the convention part of the event is just as noteworthy. Similar to events like Comic Con, KCON’s convention is the place for fans of Hallyu to gather together and have a good time surrounded by what they love.
As part of any large event, there must be workers to help pull it all together, including those that work the convention. Since the event lasts only three days, hiring temporary workers using gig sites like Backstage is customary.
While this would not usually raise eyebrows, the job requirements named on KCON USA‘s listing have outraged netizens.
First, the job description requests only females aged 18 to 30 apply.
Following a brief description of the position’s duties, ethnicity requirements are listed as “Asian, White/European Descent.”
A similar post was made last year for KCON convention workers but noticeably included broader gender and ethnicity requirements.
Backstage is also used for hiring actors to fill positions where ethnicity sometimes matters, but this distinction would not typically be listed for convention staff workers.
One netizen pointed out the potential legal issues with the posting, citing two different acts this description would violate.
this literally goes against Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 *AND* Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 😭😭😭😭😭 lawsuit looking real nice on y'all @KCON_official @kconusa https://t.co/jqRbbkIDPA
— lynn ✩₅ misses piwon | LEE TAEMIN DAY/HOPE 🤓 DAY (@seolarflame) July 18, 2023
Netizens have shared their feelings online, with many feeling uncomfortable attending an event that is supposed to welcome all having these sorts of discriminatory policies.
Kcon is actually racist as hell wtf pic.twitter.com/sdq4DCknH0
— m is meeting wayv & nct nation japan?! (@nanasbannanas) July 17, 2023
— amber misses dream (@cuitknj) July 17, 2023
— Jooheon’s Ride-or-die 🐯 (@PelleShepp) July 18, 2023