NCT’s Johnny created waves online with his attendance at the 2022 Met Gala. Fans were excited to see the K-pop idol gracing the event’s red carpet and were in awe of his charming visuals.
After successfully arriving on the red carpet, looking handsome and dashing, the paparazzi directed him to pose for the camera. However, one paparazzi lost his patience and directed a racist remark at the singer. He muttered:
"He doesn’t understand a word I’m saying. F*ck."
Soon enough, the video of the paparazzi being rude to Johnny went viral on various social media platforms, and fans expressed their outrage over the inappropriate behavior. One fan stated:
"When will this stop? This is so tiring".
NCT's Johnny faces racism at the 2022 Met Gala
On May 2, various media outlets reported that NCT's Johnny would be attending the 2022 Met Gala held in New York City. The K-pop idol himself confirmed the reports after meeting some fans.
Known by many for loving fashion himself, Johnny was styled in an attractive all-black ensemble with his hair pushed back neatly. Fans were excited to have a look at Johnny’s costume and style for the event.
This year’s Met Gala theme is In America: An Anthology of Fashion, focusing on gilded glamor. Since the K-pop idol is a well-renowned Korean American, he was styled by a brand owned and run by Asian Americans. The event also aims to explore the fashion styles of individual artists.
Upon arriving on the red carpet in his debonair ensemble, NCT's Johnny became the victim of racism at the event. No matter how lavish or high-event certain circumstances are labeled, some unfortunate remarks and actions are bound to be displayed.
Since every paparazzi wanted to get their first look and picture of the stunning celebrities, there was a lot of noise, especially with the camera and flashes going off. The feeling in this particular moment can become overwhelming as one cannot hear everything.
However, one paparazzi got impatient and rude. After directing NCT’s Johnny to move so that he could get a better angle, the paparazzi got annoyed when the K-Pop idol did not listen and changed his pose.
"Johnny Suh, over here! On this side, please!".
After a few seconds, the man muttered a racist comment and stated that Johnny couldn’t understand a word he was saying. The paparazzi assumed that since the K-pop idol didn’t respond to his direction and was Asian, he must not know English.
The original poster of the video didn’t pay attention until after the video went viral, with the man standing next to him uttering a racist comment about NCT’s Johnny.
Soon after, fans took to various social media platforms to express their outrage at the clipping. They were surprised to hear such racist remarks, especially considering that Johnny is from Chicago, Illinois, and is therefore fluent in English.
Paparazzi replies to the heated situation
After fans created a loud noise on social media platforms, the original paparazzi who directed the racist remark at NCT’s Johnny replied to fans' criticism and backlash about the problematic situation.
With the username @doc.lucius, the man stated that he wasn’t racist and genuinely assumed that Johnny was foreign and didn’t understand when photographers were calling him. The man later accepted it was his fault but cleared that he was not a racist. He said:
"Not at all racist, that's insane, I genuienly assumed he was foreign and just didn't understand us photographers calling him out, Clearly I was wrong, but I am not a racist at all...I love Asian culture and all cultures."
Meanwhile, it is disheartening for anyone to be subjected to racist comments or actions. Unfortunately, since COVID-19, there has been a rise in America's anti-Asian hate, violence, and crime. Many K-pop idols have also been troubled from time to time when they visit the country or live there.
On the flip side, NCT’s Johnny joins EXO’s Lay, Psy, Rain, and Super Junior’s Siwon as the fifth K-pop artist to grace the Met Gala.