Oh My Girl Accused of Racism Against Indians

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DKPop India
Oh My Girl (L to R: Jiho, Binnie, JinE, Seunghee, Arin, Hyojung, Yooa, Mimi)

Eight member girl group Oh My Girl have been accused of racism and cultural appropriation towards Indians through their promotions for their latest comeback track Windy Day.

The track has been wrongly described to contain “South Asian influenced” beats according to the members, however, the chorus uses music that is inspired by the Middle East. Fans have been offended with the way the group behaved when asked about the inspiration behind their music and choreography.

A fan’s Tumblr post got attention after it enumerated the number of times the members behaved questionably during the promotion by saying offensive things and doing inappropriate “Indian” dance moves when asked about their choreography.

In a clip which has since been taken down, Member Seunghee allegedly pretended to eat curry and do stereotypical “Indian people” moves, or a watered down version of the Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam, while performing. The show which the group was performing on also edited a turban on her head, an action which was then received by the audience with laughter and amusement- this incident has been described by fans as “ugly” and extremely offensive. Since Windy Day has been released, the group has labelled themselves as “curry-dols” and named their dance “Aladdin dance” after the so called “South Asian influence” in their latest comeback.

In a separate incidence in another removed clip, members Yooa and Hyojung were asked to perform an “Indian” dance. They then proceeded to do choreography based on “ugly stereotypes of Indian and South Asian people”, to a “so called Indian” song, with the audience cheering them on. Again, this led to the fans accusing them of imitating and mocking Indian people.

DKPop India

DKpop India

Reacting to pictures of the group during promotions, a fan expressed outrage on Tumblr, “The heart on her head is supposed to be a bindi, and again she is doing that ‘typical indian’ hand movement…idk why it’s even referred as that…literally no one in india sits around moving their hand and doing that hand movement. it’s not a daily occurrence?? also this might not seem that bad to u but people have literally came up to me & other indians and have done this and talked to us with an indian accent just to mock us so yea its kinda a big deal.”

Another girl group, Fiestar, was also involved in the controversy when they talked about “Windy Day”, and member Hyemi said “curry time”. Fans expressed disappointment, writing, “Literally every time someone talks abt windy day…they somehow bring up curry which is another stereotype that brown people love curry so so so much!! Also no offence curry is basically the liquid part of our food. So basically whenever we make a dish the liquid part is called curry. So curry doesn’t have a distinct taste it can vary.”

Member Hyojung stated that the fans think of curry when they listen to the song and call them ‘curry-dols’. The members seemed to be happy about this and particularly Jiho, JinE, and Binnie were called out for “laughing and playing around, without thinking about the negative aspect of ‘curry-dol’ and unnecessarily associating Windy Day with curry. “The fans further added, “no offense, the only reason why anyone would think of curry is because of the indian beat, and the fact that people associate Indian people with curry is ugly.”

The fan concluded, “not to be that indian but basically a group made fun of Indian people when the only thing that made their song different is Indian beats. & yes I am annoyed. And at the butthurt ppl who will be in my anons: let an indian girl but annoyed at racism targeted at her own ppl.”

What is your opinion on this issue? Do you think Oh My Girl are being racist intentionally, or are their actions just out of ignorance? Should their actions be termed “misguided”, or “malicious”?

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