The Filipino “Squid Game” Actor Who Was A Victim Of Racism And Discrimination In Korea

The perpetrator sterotyped all foreigners.

Squid Game Filipino actor Christian Lagahit, also known as Player 276, sat down for an interview with Asian Boss. He opened up about the discrimination he faced as a foreigner in South Korea, including a particularly horrifying incident that occurred on a bus.

Christian Lagahit | @chrisyan8/Instagram

Calling the form of discrimination he experiences in Korea as “stereotyping,” Christian Lagahit shared the most racist incident that happened to him. A few years ago, he hopped on a small village bus filled with people.

The most memorable one was when I was inside the village bus. It was the last trip, and I was sitting at the back because it was very small. It can only accommodate a few people to sit, so other people were already standing in the bus.

— Christian Lagahit

He noticed a lady in her 50s staring at him, but he did not pay her any mind at first. A few minutes later, however, a cabbage suddenly hit his face.

There was this woman who was just staring at me. At first I wasn’t paying attention because I thought she was maybe looking at the boys, because there were boys in front of me. I thought that maybe she was just looking at the students. A few minutes passed by, and I was surprised when something hit my face. She threw a cabbage at my face—straight at my face.

— Christian Lagahit

The impact threw his glasses off his face. When he finally found them on the ground, they were already broken. He had no choice but to wear them to aid his blurry vision.

I was wearing eyeglasses at that time, and the first thing that I looked for was my eyeglasses because I couldn’t see. So I looked for my eyeglasses, and when I picked my eyeglasses up, they were already broken. I kind of used the broken eyeglasses to see because I’m farsighted.

— Christian Lagahit

In confusion, he asked the lady why she threw the cabbage at him. The most heartbreaking part was that no one stood up for him even if he was surrounded by people.

Then I asked, ‘I’m sorry, what’s happening here? Why did you throw this vegetable at me?‘ The hardest part was that no one was paying attention to me. There were a lot of people inside the bus. It was filled, but no one was there to at least help me.

— Christian Lagahit

The lady who attacked him kept silent. It was another person who explained her intentions, saying that the woman in her 50s wanted him to leave the bus because she believed only Koreans had the right to use it. When he pointed out that there were no foreigner-exclusive buses and he did not know how to hail a taxi, he was told that he should still step out.

According to the other lady, ‘She wants you to step out of the bus.’ Because I’m not Korean, and that bus was intended for Koreans—but there’s no such thing as a foreigner bus here in Korea. She said, ‘You just have to go out.

— Christian Lagahit

The incident made him feel like crying on the inside. For him, the worst part was not the cabbage being thrown at his face but the people who made the conscious decision to pretend not to notice the injustice that was happening around them.

And I was crying inside. For me, there was nothing I could do anymore. I couldn’t complain, but what I didn’t understand was there were other people inside that small bus. I just felt so bad that no one was ready to help [me.]

— Christian Lagahit

The racist lady did not just attack him physically but also verbally. Before stepping down from the bus, she screamed that all foreigners in Korea are “bad.”

Even when she was about to leave the bus, she was still screaming, ‘All foreigners here in Korea are bad people!‘ I remember those lines from her.

— Christian Lagahit

Hear more from Squid Game actor Christian Lagahit in the full interview below.