“U-Hak SoNyeo” Students Share Concerns Over Racial Discrimination In K-Pop

“I don’t think it will be well seen in Korea because I am not Asian.”

On a recent episode of Mnet‘s U-Hak SoNyeo, the global students got together with Ha Sungwoon and talked about the concerns they had about becoming a K-Pop idol.

Luna, a cast member from Poland, confessed that while she wished she could become a K-Pop idol, she thinks it would not be seen as well because she is not Asian.

I’m overthinking a lot. Cause I wish I could be a K-Pop idol but I think it wouldn’t be seen very well because I’m not Asian.

ㅡ Luna


Even during an interview with the program staff, when she was asked how she would feel if she was offered a contract to become a trainee, she stated that she would be extremely happy, but would need to think about it.

I would be very happy, but still I would need to think a lot about it because I don’t think that it would be well seen in Korea, someone who’s not Asian to become an idol.

ㅡ Luna


Another cast member, Maria, who is from the United States also agreed and shared the hurtful experiences that she encountered in Korea.

In a foreigner’s perspective, I think most think that it’s better not to be a K-Pop singer if you’re not Asian. When I came out on I Can See Your Voice, I often heard things like go back to America.

ㅡ Maria


In response to the girls’ concerns, Ha Sungwoon empathized with them and shared his own story.

I also was rejected in numerous auditions, didn’t have an agency when I was 20 years old and at the time, my height was a big hindrance. But even if my height didn’t fit the standards, if I had spectacular skills, it would’ve been fine, but I didn’t have that either.

ㅡ Ha Sungwoon


Despite his unfavorable circumstances, however, Sunghoon explained that he consistently made an effort to better himself with a firm belief that he would also one day be given a chance.

Instead, I focused on practicing a lot and improving myself. I believed I would receive an opportunity one day. Then one day, I received that opportunity. It was Produce 101 and I learned even more things after appearing on the show.

ㅡ Ha Sungwoon


He concluded by stating that he was so happy he didn’t give up in the middle and encouraged the girls not to give up either.

I was so happy I didn’t give up. So, you cannot give up.

ㅡ Ha Sungwoon


Thanks to their senior’s thoughtful advice, the girls seemed to be encouraged and comforted as well. Watch the full clip below:

Source: Dispatch