Mnet Comes Under Fire For Using Cultural Appropriation As A “Prank” On The “Boys Planet” Contestants

“At this point, they’re just setting the trainees up…”

Mnet is in the midst of airing its newest reality show, Boys Planet, where trainees from different countries compete for a chance to debut in a new group. While the company has come under fire for evil editing during the shows, the recent episode came for cultural appropriation.

The “Boys Planet” poster | Mnet

During the recent episode, the results from global voting were revealed as only the top 52 contestants made it to the next round.

In the midst of the results, Mnet had small segments that took away from the intensity. While many loved the dance battle between the K and G group…


One moment sparked criticism after the trainees were “pranked” with costumes to wear for their performance.

While the K group performing EXO‘s “Love Me Right” prepared for their performance, a staff member showed a headdress, and as soon as it was shown, the trainees seemed shocked.

In particular, as the staff pushed it towards PENTAGON‘s Hui, the idol seemed confused as he asked if it was a joke that he was being given the piece. After being assured it was real, the idol reluctantly took the piece and started dancing, still seeming very uncomfortable.

When the staff then made another trainee wear it, he also didn’t seem impressed or happy with being made to put the piece on.

The trainees then made Hui put the headdress back on, and looked very uncomfortable…

As he was made to run through the dance wearing it.

The criticisms arose as international viewers saw that the headdress was a special item worn by Indigenous groups/nations. For many, the headdress is a symbol of leadership, where each feather is earned and shows a position of leadership. They are reserved for special cultural or spiritual occasions.

The headdress is a symbol of leadership, and each feather is earned and shows a position of leadership. Not everyone in American Indian cultures has the right to wear headdresses. They are reserved for special cultural or spiritual occasions.

— Kansas City Chiefs

As soon as the episode aired the clip, netizens immediately recognized how inappropriate it was, as it was cultural appropriation as they used an important cultural piece as a “costume.”

Yet, while some were quick to call Hui and the other trainees out for their reactions to the headpiece…

Many pointed out that the Hui and Gyu Vin looked uncomfortable about what the producers were doing. While it was a prank, the contestants thought it was serious, and with such huge stakes on the show, it isn’t surprising that the trainees were willing to do anything.

After realizing the difficult position the trainees were put in, netizens called out Mnet for setting up the contestants to get criticism for their own cultural appropriation.

While many netizens were enjoying the show, it became sour after what many believed was blatant cultural appropriation. In particular, due to the global nature of the show, it was extremely disrespectful.

For such a global show, it is disappointing that cultural appropriation is still happening on such popular shows. In particular, netizens disliked the way the trainees had no control on the “prank,” and were involved in something that could impact their careers in the future.

Mnet has yet to respond to fans’ criticisms.

Source: Mnet

Boys Planet

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