Drama unfolded off the screen when a preview scene from the popular dance competition show Street Woman Fighter 2 sparked allegations of racism. The controversial sequence, which has now been omitted by Mnet from the aired episode, saw one of the contestants making comments about her competitor which many viewers have interpreted as racially biased.
The contention began when Latrice, a talented Black dancer from Australia, was named the winner of a dance-off challenge against Redlic. This decision didn’t sit well with Redlic, who expressed her dissent in a preview clip teased by Mnet.
To be honest, I thought it was unfair. It looked like she was not even trying. She’s competing with her physical strength. That’s what I was thinking. I was grinding my teeth while dancing because I wanted to win so bad.
— Redlic on Latrice winning
and this pissed me off so bad.. all redlic knows how to do is cry, she’s not ready for this competition at all!! “she’s competing with her physical strength” wtf do you even mean?!!
jam republic dancers are so respectful, it hurt to see latrice cry over this crybaby pic.twitter.com/sIwX4uYSky
— 𝓪𝓶𝓪 🧸 NYCT ☀️🌙 09/07 (@neohaehae) August 24, 2023
The phrase “competing with her physical strength” drew immediate criticism from international audiences, many of whom saw this as a racially charged microaggression against Latrice, who is a Black woman.
“competing with physical strength” the racism is really showing 😭🤨 https://t.co/tMY1EP3PMS
— 🍊 (@INTPangel) September 1, 2023
The situation escalated further when, in another clip, Redlic, who speaks Korean, took the reins as the “main dancer,” seemingly sidelining Latrice by giving instructions in a language Latrice does not understand.
she basically knows latrice can’t understand anything shes saying so she’s trying to control the others by only speaking korean. Its such a sad situation. I hope to see latrice stand up to her, because this is mad crazy https://t.co/ggm5WBGN1O
— Tasha (@Tashait1) September 1, 2023
I feel bad for Latrice😭 Redlic is clearly using the language barrier to her advantage. https://t.co/ThEc3QFyDj
— Ryu🍰🌼 A.I.BAE (@reshma90974745) September 1, 2023
Fans took to Twitter to express their outrage over these incidents. Comments ranged from calling out Redlic for her perceived “sore loser” attitude to accusing her of “blatant racism.” Some fans remarked upon the irony of certain individuals wanting to adopt elements of Black culture but disrespecting Black artists.
So all latrice did was outdance redlic without using all her energy and redlic felt threatened so she had to be racist…a very loser behavior latrica slayed anyways#StreetWomanFighter2
— ;༊ moving (@hyoxox) August 29, 2023
it’s actually crazy how her entire career is built off of the legacy of black artists but she still has the audacity to spew microagression after microagression just bc she can’t dance ,,,, latrice bby u deserve BETTER!!!! https://t.co/x1s1LTZV42
— yeontan⁷ | jungkook day !!! (@n3ctar1ne) September 2, 2023
Others pointed out the microaggressions Latrice has faced throughout the competition, emphasizing the need for Mnet to rethink its approach and treatment of international participants.
One more thing. Do me a favor MNET. Never invite international dancers anymore since you just want them to get emotionally distressed for views. https://t.co/XS2uuunIRv
— Johnny’s Betrothed (@Dafferdoodlez) September 1, 2023
why the hell did mnet invite international dancers to this show if they're gonna be treated like this…. i hope latrice is doing ok https://t.co/yzJJTZlVEd
— sung yaoi (@__gunwook) September 2, 2023
Following the widespread backlash from both international and Korean viewers of the show, many fans noticed the absence of the controversial scene from the aired episode. This omission led to further debate online, with fans questioning Mnet’s intentions and accusing the network of capitalizing on international dancers for viewership, only to later edit out sensitive content.
— whats after like??? (@ideallytoday) August 29, 2023
interesting also how they didn't air this in the full second episode…. almost like the heat they would've got globally was gonna outdo the ratings 🧐 https://t.co/B5Mdz9LWuy
— Rui-Amber (In China) (@_marsxan) August 30, 2023
The incident on Street Woman Fighter 2 has opened up discussions on racism, cultural appreciation vs. appropriation, and the responsibilities of broadcasting networks regarding the treatment of international contestants on such shows. The controversy stemming from Redlic’s comments underscores the need for sensitivity and awareness when broaching topics of race and ethnicity, even more so on global platforms.