K-Pop has been gaining popularity in America, with a sold-out world tour last autumn showcasing a number of acts from SHINee to Girls' Generation—that featured stops at NYC's Madison Square Garden and LA's Staples Center—cementing Korean pop music as an international sensation. So now that K-Pop has the world's attention, people are looking a little more closely at what these groups are all about, and are uncovering some disturbing imagery, language and behavior with regards to racism. Namely: Blackface.
But the offensive incidences aren't limited to just blackface (as pictured above, with Gikwang of K-Pop group BEAST/B2ST eating some watermelon). Tay Symone at ONTD mentions the infamous story of one of the Girls' Generation singers, Taeyeon, saying Alicia Keys is "pretty for a black girl." Another Girls' Generation singer, Yuri, went on a TV show and did an impression of what she thought was "acting black."
This actually has been going on within K-Pop for sometime, at least since the Bubble Sisters — an all-girl group that based their entire image on black face — first hit the scene in 2003. Their tactics may have been offensive, but they were only one group doing it. Now it would seem that it's something of an epidemic within K-Pop.