"Why did they make him blend with the wall": Stray Kids' Felix exposes JYP Entertainment's whitewashing of his video

Stray Kids
Stray Kids' Felix exposes JYP Entertainment for whitewashing his videos (Image via Instagram/@realstraykids)

On Sunday, April 9, Stray Kids' Felix released a video on Instagram talking about the group's upcoming headlining act at the 2023 Lollapalooza in France. In light of the same, the idol spoke in French, mesmerizing fans with his yet another impressive skillset.

As fans praised him for his perfect pronunciation, they were instantly forced to notice the obvious whitewashing of Felix's video.

Since this is quite common practice in the K-pop industry, fans weren't necessarily surprised about the incident, regardless, disappointment was accompanied. What followed the incident, however, was surprising.

Soon after fans expressed their concerns about whitewashing of Stray Kids' Felix, the idol went on to Bubble and released the original, unwhitewashed version of the video. Not only were people shocked by the stark difference in the idol's skin tone, but they were also quite proud of Felix's bold stance.

"Everyone say thank you": Fans praise Stray Kids' Felix for exposing the whitewashing of his video by JYP Entertainment

Following the release of Stray Kids' Felix's video on Instagram, fans immediately spotted the evident whitewashing and were extremely upset about the same. Especially since the difference between the original and the whitewashed video was due to several lighter shades, many were unhappy with the agency's need to entirely mask the idol's natural skin tone.

Many also expressed how much they preferred and are much happier with the unwhitewashed version. This has become a specific topic of concern because this isn't the first time that the idol has been unfairly whitewashed by the agency. There have been many instances where Felix's natural skin tone and freckles were hidden or covered up.

Given that it's quite a serious topic that can have negative effects on both the idol and the audience, fans feel that it's an issue that needs to be addressed. Korean beauty standards, as many might be aware, have seeped into many institutions in society, with the entertainment industry being a prominent one. Naturally, it's understandable that K-pop idols and actors are forced to adopt a lighter skin tone since these ideals have been extremely normalized.

However, with changing times where people have realized the serious effects it could have on the audience, it becomes a practice that needs to be avoided at all costs. Whitewashing idols who are perceived and looked up to by a large audience, particularly from the younger generations, can negatively affect the audience, unconsciously reinforcing the harmful and unrealistic beauty standards.

While many K-pop idols have become accustomed to the whitewashing that their agency and other Korean media put them through, fans were quite proud of how Stray Kids' Felix was unafraid to call out his agency for evidently whitewashing his video.

Though the idol didn't necessarily say anything about how he felt about the situation, his upload of the original video on the online platform shared between him and his fans was only loud enough to communicate his aims.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury