We won't love it long time.
Even though I was born in Seoul, South Korea, I don't consider myself to be a "Seoul girl." What is a "Seoul girl," you ask? I dunno, ask Rebel Wilson.
According to Deadline, Seoul Girls is the upcoming K-Pop comedy written and produced by the Pitch Perfect and Cats star. Lionsgate has acquired the rights to the film, which will feature "a Korean American high school girl and her friends who enter a worldwide talent competition to be the opening act for the world's biggest K-pop boy band. With help from an ex-member of a British girl group and a former K-pop trainee, the Seoul Girls find their voices on the world's biggest stage." Wilson will play a role in the film, most likely the British ex-pop star.
The script for this unholy mash-up of Pitch Perfect and Camp Rock was reported to be "revised" by Billions screenwriter Young Il Kim, who joked about his involvement on Twitter: "This Kpop project is gonna get me at least a 10% discount in K-town restaurants!"
Sadly, a street cred discount and a "nice try but no" might be all he gets, judging by Asian Twitter's responses. Criticism ranged from disbelief at the kitschy title ("'Seoul Sisters' was right there!" wrote one user) to the flimsy plot (K-Pop aficionados pointed out that K-Pop performances don't usually include opening acts).
Granted, details about the film are scarce, but what information we have doesn't bode well, considering the mind-boggling history of Hollywood white-washing, exoticizing, and fetishizing Asian characters. One user posted, "If this is all about stereotypes, please @RebelWilson, no. I love you and I don't want you to be dragged for being misinformed and reinforcing stereotypes please. I love you, dont." Others commented on the demoralizing pattern of Hollywood "encroaching on Korean culture once they realize it's profitable."
Setting aside jokes about Scarlett Johansson or Emma Stone being perfect for the role, we're somewhat confident that the studio wouldn't be dumb enough to cast a non-Asian for any of the leading roles. Yes, we know that a studio exec once suggested Julia Roberts play Harriet Tubman, but… that was in 1994. Now we live in a post-Crazy Rich Asians world; the celebration of which made it seem like American media was about to be flooded with more Asian and Asian-American representation. (Nevermind that the only Asian screenwriter had to quit the sequel because she was offered one fraction of her white co-writer's salary). Now we collectively mock Johannsson playing a character originally named Motoko Kusanagi because the tide has turned against Hollywood white-washing the eastern sh*t out of Asian characters—right?
Attached to produce Seoul Girls are some of the least-Asian producers in the business: Meredith Wieck and Scott O'Brien from Lionsgate and Alison Owen and Debra Hayward from Monumental (the culprit behind the whole live-action Cats nightmare). At least there's hope that Seoul Girls will feature (seriously, at the very least) an all-Asian cast. After all, it's surely not possible that a fundamentally, literally Korean storyline would ever feature non-Korean actors...right?
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The quarterback said "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." And then he tried to apologize. And only made it worse.
Drew Brees, a man who makes literally millions of dollars for throwing a ball, has come under fire for insensitive comments he made about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said in the interview with Yahoo Finance. He clarified that this was in part because he envisioned his grandfathers, who fought in World War II, during the National Anthem. He continued, saying, "And is everything right with our country right now? No. It's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution."
This isn't the first time Brees made it clear that he cares more for the idea of a make-believe unified America than he does for actual human lives. In 2016, he criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem, saying it was "disrespectful to the American flag" and "an oxymoron" because the flag gave critics the right to speak out in the first place.
Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of racist police brutality
Of course, the flag's alleged ideals have been proven to only be applicable to wealthy, white men—men like Brees. Sure, his grandfathers did a noble thing when they fought under the US flag during WWII, and no one, including Kaepernick, has ever said that sacrifice isn't worth respecting. Thanks to the sacrifices of many people (including the enslaved Black backs upon which this country was built, including the scores of routinely abused Black soldiers who fought for American lives), America has offered opportunity and peace for many, many people. In particular, Ole' Glory has been very kind to men like Brees: rich, white men who still control the majority of the power and the wealth in the United States.
But what about the rest of us, Drew? What about George Floyd whose neck was crushed by a police officer who kneeled on him so casually that he didn't even take his hand out of his pocket? What about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot for the crime of being Black and going for a jog? What about Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night for a crime that had nothing to do with her? What about Tony McDade, Drew–have you heard his name? Have you heard about the 38-year-old Black trans man who was gunned down in Florida last week? Do you understand why these people's family's may harbor just a bit of disrespect for your precious flag?
Is it possible for you to realize, Drew, that your wish for "unity" is not a wish for progress, but a wish to maintain the status quo? When you call for unity under the American flag, you're talking about your flag, the flag that represents a long, sordid history of racial oppression and violence. There is no unity where there is no justice. When you say that "we are all in this together," what you're saying is that we all have roles to play in the version of society that has served you so well. For your part, you'll be a rich, white man, and for Black people's part, they'll continue to be victims of state-sanctioned murders– but hopefully more quietly, hopefully in a manner that doesn't make you uncomfortable?
When you say, "We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution," what you mean to say is that POC and their allies are at fault. Sure, you probably agree that Derek Chauvin took it a bit too far, and you probably feel a little self-conscious that he's brought all this "Black rights" stuff up again. But when you say "all," you place blame on the victims who are dying under a broken system. And what, exactly, do you expect POC to do differently, Drew? Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging, and still he died. George Floyd was just trying to pay a cashier, and still he died. POC and their allies try to peacefully protest by marching in the streets or taking a knee at a football game, and still white people condemn and criticize. Still the police shoot.
After much criticism, Brees did attempt an apology on Instagram, where he posted a hilariously corny stock photo of a Black and white hand clasped together. His caption, though possibly well-intentioned, made it even clearer that his understanding of the movement for Black lives is thoroughly lacking.
Highlights of the "apology" include his immediate attempt to exonerate himself from culpability, claiming that his words were misconstrued, saying of his previous statement: "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character." Unfortunately, Drew, white people like you are the "enemy," as you put it, because by default you are at the very least part of the problem. No one is accusing you of being an overt racist, Drew; no one thinks you actively and consciously detest Black people. But your lack of empathy, your apathy, and your unwillingness to unlearn your own biases are precisely what has persisted in the hearts and minds of well-meaning white Americans for centuries.
Next, you say, "I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the Black community in this movement." No, Drew. Just no. Black people don't need white people's savior complexes to interfere in their organizing; what they need is for us to shut up and listen. What they need is for us to get our knees off of their necks.
Finally, you say, "I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy." This, Drew, is suspiciously similar to saying, "But I'm one of the good whites!" The fact of the matter is that feeling the need to prove your allyship is not about helping a movement; it's about feeding your own ego. Not only that, but your emphasis on "ALWAYS" does a pretty good job of making it clear that you don't think you have a racist bone in your body and that you have taken great offense at any accusations to the contrary. I have some news for you, Drew: Every white person is racist. Sure, the levels vary, and while you may not be actively and consciously discriminating against POC, you have been brought up in a racist system, and your implicit biases are as strong as any other white person's. Your job now is to unlearn those biases and confront those subtle prejudices in yourself and in other white people. Maybe the first step in doing so is just shutting your f*cking mouth about kneeling at football games. Maybe you should even consider taking a knee yourself.
For other non-BIPOC trying to be better allies, check out one of these 68+ anti-racism resources.
We're glad they're on our side.
The world is up against a seemingly insurmountable threat, but luckily, we've got a crack team of heroes on the case.
Sure, there's already the girl with super strength, the guy who can fly, and the anthropomorphic, trash-talking animal tailor-made for merchandise. But this is a threat of intergalactic proportions, and we're going to need all the help we can get if we want to survive.
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