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Korean YouTuber Tzuyang draws flak over ‘racist’ mukbang video, apologizes to Filipinos

Renowned YouTuber Tzuyang, boasting a substantial following of over 9 million subscribers, has formally apologized to her Filipino audience following the removal of a controversial video deemed racist. The video featured a mukbang collaboration with South Korean comedian Kim Ji Young, portraying a character named “Nitong” from the Philippines.

On February 5, Tzuyang expressed regret, acknowledging the distress caused to Filipino viewers. She stated, “Gusto ko po mag-express ng aking sincerest apology regarding sa video na i-upload noong 28th ng Enero kasama ng mga komedyans na Koreano para sa mga Filipino viewers [ want to express my genuine apologies to our Filipino viewers and subscribers for any distress caused by the video posted on January 28, featuring a collaboration with a Korean comedian. I have since removed the content.]”

Screengrab from YouTube

English translation of the apology:

“Hello, this is tzuyang. I want to extend my sincere apologies to our Filipino viewers and subscribers for any concerns caused by the video uploaded on January 28th with a Korean comedian.  I hold great respect for the Philippines and feel genuinely grateful to the many viewers in the Philippines who enjoy my videos.  However, it was a huge oversight on my part not to realize that the content we produced might unintentionally cause emotional pain, which was not our intention. I sincerely apologize once again to the Filipino viewers and to anyone who felt uncomfortable watching the video. We have already removed the video in question. I will carefully heed the criticisms and comments from our viewers and will make every effort to be thoughtful and attentive when creating content in the future.”

The mukbang video showcased Tzuyang and Kim Ji Young engaging in a culinary session, with Kim Ji Young adopting the persona of “Nitong,” a character with a questionable portrayal of a Filipino individual. Filipino social media users swiftly criticized the video, denouncing it as racially discriminatory and expressing disappointment in the lack of cultural sensitivity.

Comments from Filipino social media users included sentiments such as, “This is low and blatant racism,” “You should’ve done better research before pretending to be Filipino,” and “If you want to have a Filipino guest, you should invite a real Filipino.”

Even Korean online users weighed in, cautioning against similar depictions of global stars with exaggerated accents, highlighting the potential consequences of such actions. Tzuyang responded to the backlash with remorse, emphasizing her respect for the Philippines and expressing gratitude for her Filipino viewers.

In response to the criticism, Tzuyang pledged to be more mindful, stating, “I will carefully consider and be more mindful when creating content in the future.”

Korean social media users also expressed shock and disappointment, with comments highlighting Tzuyang’s thoughtlessness in creating such content and questioning the appropriateness of the portrayal. The incident has sparked a broader conversation about cultural sensitivity and the potential consequences of perpetuating outdated humor in the digital age.

As Tzuyang navigates the aftermath of this controversy, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural awareness and responsible content creation in the online entertainment industry.


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