Actor Michele Morrone is currently in South Korea for Netflix promotions for 365 Days. On October 28, 2022, Morrone uploaded a story to Instagram where he claimed to have faced racism at the Shilla Hotel, one of Seoul’s most prestigious luxury hotels.
The hotel has since denied claims, citing a misunderstanding.
We do also have rooms that allow smoking. But we cannot confirm with you what type of room Morrone was staying in, as it is considered his personal information. It is impossible for a hotel to show preferential treatment to only Asians. I think there was a misunderstanding between us. We have solved the misunderstanding now and it is to our knowledge that he has deleted the post from social media. We will always do our best to make sure guests that stay with us do not experience discomfort.
— Shilla Hotel Representative
Korean netizens have been critical of Michele Morrone following the statement by Shilla Hotel. Not only is Shilla Hotel one of the highest-ranked and reputable hotels in Seoul, but Korean netizens are also in disbelief that Michele Morrone would face racism.
- “There’s no way that Shilla Hotel would do that, but if they did, he could sue them.”
- “I hope Shilla sues LOL”
- “White people are even stealing racism now.”
- “The real racism here is what he’s doing. What is this white man spewing?”
- “Seems like he’s just dumbly going on about Asians doing this and that when he’s probably never faced racism his entire life. Does he even know what racism is?”
- “You can also see it as something said out of white supremacy.”
In fact, one of the criticisms that South Korea faces from many POC foreigners is that the nation is xenophobic, but also white-worshipping. South Koreans are also aware of the fact that white people are more likely to receive preferential treatment in most parts of the world, as well as South Korea itself. It was hence hard for Koreans to believe that Michele, as a white man of Italian origins, would have faced racism from Shilla Hotel.