EXO’s Chen Makes A Racist Remark During Live Broadcast

EXO’s Chen made a racist remark and now fandoms are at war.

EXO‘s Chen made a remark during a live broadcast, and now there’s a hot debate on Twitter due to confusion over the English translation of the comment.


During a live stream of Saturdays Also with EXO-CBX, Baekhyun decided to put dark lipstick on Chen. Chen, laughing at Baekhyun’s excessive over-lining, said “isn’t this Kunta Kinte?


“Kunta Kinte” refers to the Roots main character, a slave who is taken from his home country and forced to work in America. The miniseries first aired in 1977 and became a pop culture hit, with Kunta Kinte becoming a household name and symbol for black empowerment.

A remake of the popular miniseries was made in 2017, bringing it’s message back into cultural circulation in light of the racial controversy in the US.


To refer to a person with thick, dark lips as “Kunta Kinte”  is not only a racist remark but also undermines the character’s symbolic and cultural significance.


Chen also mentioned that he looked like Michol, a character from the 1983 cartoon Dooly The Little Dinosaur who is already surrounded by a lot of controversy for it’s racist representation.


Impersonations of Michol have famously disgraced networks like TvN when APink‘s Bomi appeared in blackface as the character on SNL back in 2017.


But there has been a lot of confusion by netizens who think Chen didn’t say “Kunta Kinte”, since the English subtitles translated, “My lips look too plump!


Some flat out refused to believe he said anything offensive.


But others pointed out that the subtitles in Korean also claim that Chen said “Kunta Kinte”.


A massive twitter war ensued when some fans decided to drop the group due to the offensive comment.


There were also claims that “Kunta Kinte lips” is a slang term in Korea for full lips. Newswire reported that people often get plastic surgery to reduce the thickness of lips because of bullying. One woman said she got her lips reduced because many of her peers teased her about her “Kunta Kinte lip”.

This selfie was uploaded with the hashtag #kuntakinte but is not the woman in question.

“I was called “Kunta Kinte lips” since I was a kid. I suffered a lot of bullying since elementary school because of my thick lips.” — Choi Sujin


An episode of makeover show Let Me In season 5 also had a woman called “Kunta Kinte girl” for her large lips.


The term also appeared when Korean rapper and singer Hwangbo posted this image with the caption: “I was always crying when I was young because the other kids would say I have full lips and would call me ‘Kunta Kinte’.


The term ultimately holds an offensive and negative tone. EXO-Ls are trying to help Chen realize the problem with these kinds of references.


Needless to say, many of his fans are disappointed in Chen for his remarks and ask him to apologize.


SM Entertainment has not released a comment regarding the broadcast, and no EXO member has addressed it.

Source: Nate Pann, Reddit, Newswire and BBC