Brian Joo Imitating a Black Woman??

Check out this recent Korean tv show clip of Brian Joo supposedly imitating an African American woman. I have a few comments to make:

1) Brian Joo is a Jersey boy. He grew up around all kinds of people and I’m sure his friend pool contains a plethora of different races and ethnicities. I highly doubt this imitation was meant to be offensive. I would be more offended if he had grown up in South Korea and had no personal experiences with other people of color and was imitating them purely from what he saw on tv and the media.

2) I’m guessing the person that accused him of this probably isn’t a black woman. I have a feeling that this person probably pictures black women this way, and therefore Brian’s imitation hit close to home to their own perception of black women. Just a thought…

3) I don’t know any black women who act that way. If anything, he acted more like a queen than an African American or black woman.

Bottom line, Brian Joo is alright in my book. Anyone who was offended, though, I’d love to hear from ya!

18 thoughts on “Brian Joo Imitating a Black Woman??

  1. Ha!….quite funny, actually. Nothing about that reminds me per se of a black female. However, maybe he was going on the stereotype of black females and “attitude”; but as you said earlier, bitofabelly81, he just comes off more like a “queen”. I’m not offended, just interested to see how Asians along with much of society as a whole, views black women.

  2. I watched this on ALLKPOP over the weekend and I came to EXACTLY the same conclusions you did. I would like to know who called him racist? I meant to TWEET him, but I got distracted ;P

  3. I will copy the comment I left on the other web site regarding Brian Woo. I don’t want to “burn him in effigy” but I must say his immitation did become a “little uncomfortable” to watch, since the room was full of Koreans. I know Sh__t about Korean culture as a whole other than what I’ve learned over the last year with Bi. I don’t see myself doing a skit of them to “make a funny.” I also don’t feel we should NEVER be the butt of comedy, but I think knowing when to Say When is always best. My comment is as follows:

    While I don’t think Brian’s actions were meant to be necessarily offense, as he continued his very “colorful” immitation he did indeed slide down that “slippery slope” from being just funny to being offensive. As an African-American woman, I must say it’s somewhat disheartening to feel like Black women as a whole must continue to “fight against” this Constant Stereotype. We are WEARY of this image that continues to be perpetuated around the world. Yes, Brian was “making a funny” but at the expense of Black women, not all of whom act this way. I CERTAINLY DON’T. I was further disheartened as he did this in a room full of his own countrymen and as someone commented earlier, he did this skit for HIS people many of whom already have negative perceptions of Black people based on said stereotypes or the many You Tube videos that only seem to show the world ONE DIMENSION of Black People as a whole. All of us (myself included) have to be careful that we do not offend, especially when we are really just trying to show that we are open to other cultures.

  4. I have to agree with @ BiAlamode a bit. I am a bit weary of the way we are presented to other cultures.
    I don’t think he MEANT it to be offensive to us as black women. This is not the first time I’ve seen Brian Joo take from the black “culture”. Stereotypes included. There was an old video of X-man where he did the exact same impression. When talking to another Korean-American (I think it was Tablo) he even said “nigga”. And didn’t he also say that he dated black women before?
    Did I think it was funny? A little, especially since as a black female I know personally a lot of girls that act this was. Was I a bit uncomfortable? Yeah. Especially when I know I don’t act like that (well, not all the time. lol) But only because of the fact that this was said in a room full of people I doubt have had much interaction with us in their day to day lives.
    If people are constantly bombarded with an image, surely they’ll have to start believing some of it. Unfortunately this is what has happened.
    I went to high school full of kids straight from South Korea as well as the black, white, Hispanics, etc.. In my current college I have Korean friends, too. I talk with them, eat lunch, laugh, all that good stuff. We exchanged cultures a bit. And got to know each other pretty well. But I’ll never forget something in high school while talking to 2 of my Korean friends.
    One day, 4 of us where talking about relationships. One my friends, who was Hispanic, had a crazy thing for asian boys and we started talking about interracial relationships with Koreans. This guy who I had become friends with stated that he wouldn’t date a black girl. When asked why, he really wouldn’t give a reason.
    There was this other Korean guy I knew. We were so close I even called him oppa. One day, he asked if I could teach him how to be agressive. Just out of the blue. When I told him I don’t know how, he asked why? When I asked him if he thought I was agressive, he said no. Then why would he asked me how? He said he thought all black people knew how to do that.
    This guy was 18 years old. Was in American for a reasonably long time. And had made friends with a BUNCH of black people. (Me included). So why would he ask that?
    Some things unfortunately take a long, long time to change. One of them is definitely stereotypes. When people like Brian Joo (not saying he IS one of the people) do these acts, they just make the process of change longer and more difficult.
    I still hold to my belief that he didn’t mean for it to be offensive. He was trying to be funny and that was one way he knew how. I think I could have found something else to get the laughs out of the them but this is what happened.
    I just can’t wait for the day, when I’m watching my Korean shows and some the guys openly talk about the crushes they have black chicks. Skin, hair, curves, all of it. Some are getting the picture. Like Far*East Movement.

  5. I barely watch TV,but when I do, I watch The George Lopez Show. If anybody watches the show, they will notice how many races of people he have made a part of his show. George have put the people’s races , the disabled( mentally/physically), gays and just about some of everybody else in his skit. Some people may feel uncomfortable with his show,but I watch it religiously. In spite of it all, he doesn’t seem racist.

    How can I say this without sounding like I make no sense? Some people are able to can do a “George Lopez” number without looking racist. Others don’t know how to do it. I looked at the clip and being on Korean TV, I admit to being a little wary about it,but I didn’t think Brian meant to be ugly with it. Maybe he may be mimicking some Black woman he seen or knew. “In Living Color” Jaime Fox played a character named Wanda. When asked where he got that skit from he said from some woman he seen in a former ghetto in ATL .For all we know, there could have been some people who lived in those ghettos who could have been offended with this as not every Black woman live in them or have Wanda’s mentality.

    And that is my thing..some Black people got angry with Brian doing that impression,but as my mom would tell me “Don’t give what you can’t take”. Some of us will laugh at a Wanda or Shenaenae skit. (Even a movie is supposed to feature the two play in a movie together)Some Black movie goers I know are looking forward to watching it. Yet, they get angry at Brian for basically doing the same? That is hypocritical.

    I will play a little devil’s advocate also. Though I didn’t think that Brian was trying to be racist in what he did, he still have to be careful about what/how he says things, especially the people that he may entertain.Just as much as I forgive Brian, I also understand some feelings of offended Blacks. You want people to understand the real you,not stereotypes. It seemed that Brian did that all in fun,but there are some who identify us in that light and as a result, will falsely base us by these images.Unfortunately, and too often as a result, an unfavorable impression of the African-Americans and other other Black people from other countries.

    • @ATLsis,

      ‘You want people to understand the real you,not stereotypes’…….EXACTLY! I don’t think Brian was Trying To Be offensive, but he’s in a room full of other Koreans, some of whom Have NO Clue about who we TRULY ARE as a people anyway. So when their favorite celebs make fun at our expense using stereotypical impressions, it doesn’t lend itself to productive dialogue about race relations.

      • @BiAlamode: I hear ya. I probably should’ve watched more of the clip before I posted anything. If his intent was to make fun of black women, then that isn’t cool. For him, it’s more of a no-no because he knows what struggles black women have to go through to prove that they aren’t what stereotypes make them to be. The other folks on there are laughing because they are ignorant of what we are really like….thanks for your thoughts!

  6. I was mildly offended… He was quite funny but if you viewed the show in its entirety, I think you would’ve squirmed at least once or twice from discomfort. When the clip from Dreamgirls was brought up as an example of “ghetto” behavior, I was a bit uncomfortable with it.
    South Korea is a very homogeneous country and they also come off as a bit xenophobic. I love K-Pop, South Korean Culture and everything that comes with it but I’m also not stupid. While they may not mean to come off as racist, I find that they can be a bit racially insensitive.

    • @Belle_Belle: welcome to BWLB and thanks for your comment! Yea I didn’t know that they had included a clip from Dreamgirls. It seems that with all of the black culture they’ve borrowed they would be a little less ignorant, right?

  7. No one called him racist. The only one who used the word racist was Brain Joo. The women who tweeted him did it in a very respectful manner and explained why they found it offensive. Do you really think he would have apologized if they had came at him rudely? The impression started off ok but quickly went down hill around the time they showed the clip from Dream Girls. I’m still waiting for the full translation but several people have said other people on the show (not Brain) repeatedly said “black women” and someone even said “He knows how they act cause he used to date a black woman”. I appreciate Brain’s apology.

    • @modestgoddes: thanks for your comment and welcome! Yeah, I realize that I posted before I saw the whole clip or got the full sense of what was going on. I don’t appreciate it at all, but I do appreciate that he apologized. He of all people should understand the sensitivity of what was done. Afterall, he grew up here, and in a very diverse part of the nation. He should have known better, but hey, we all do dumb, insensitive things sometimes…

  8. Coming from a black girl who has been to Seoul, Korea before knows that Koreans typically do stereotype black people. However, the younger generation typically looks up to the black pop culture and are intrigued by it. So after looking at this video, at first I was kind of upset that he would give black women a bad name like that then again I thought about how many times Americans make fun of Asians on tv. I don’t think he meant any harm but this is just coming from my own personally experiences and opinion.
    On another note, a lot of the korean guys I meant in Seoul actually like black women. I would know 😉

    • @Kurogawa: thanks so much for your comment and welcome! You make very good points. There will always be a certain ignorance about Black people and culture in homogenous countries such as South Korea. I remember being in a suburb of Tokyo (where not many foreign people ventured) and going into a novelty shop and seeing a black face mask hanging on the wall. I was offended upon my first look at it, but I let it slide. Truth be told, when I walked through a convenience store in Japan, I was never followed or watched, and I was always treated with dignity and respect. I enjoyed my time there. I can’t speak for everyone, but that was my experience. Anyway, I don’t think Brian meant any harm, but he should be more careful because he did grow up in the States and he really should know better. Other comments from my readers have helped me to see this from a broader perspective. I didn’t get offended because I thought he acted more like a queen than a black woman, but I didn’t see the full clip, so my perspective was a bit skewed. Still, I forgive him…he seems real and geniune to me…and heck, we all make mistakes, say and do dumb and insensitive things at one time or another. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t 🙂

  9. hummmm, i’m wondering has anyone seen the you tube vid with the caucasian student (who used to be at UCLA)??? she has since left. the reason being because she made a vid about her impressions of Asians in the library. all hell broke lose among Asians and they responded by posting their own rebuttles via you tube. take a look if you get the chance. just goggle.

  10. you said the same thing i said… i don’t think i know anyone like that… and to be honest with you when i watched it, i was not offended at all… it was funny and he did it well… lol… i still chuckle at it…

  11. Yea about this video… I want to mention that Brian didn’t have a choice because in Korea, when a PD ask you to do something scripted you cannot say NO. In his apology he mentions this. I don’t think his actions meant anything and I am almost convinced that he’s a decent person. He apologized for something that he had no control over for his FEW fans that were offended. One of the stars on that show did something FAR worse last year and not a word came from him. That same star also prompted the girl Brian was ‘arguing’ with to say ‘you’re nostrils are big’. Clearly, no one in Korea could have persuaded Brian to make an apologize so I could assume it came from his heart. The uncomfortable part was the fact he did this imitation on a Korean television show which simply perpetuated black stereotypes to the audience. This actually would fly in America because the audience knows better. I don’t know why Korea is still getting a kick out of crusty out dated stereotypes but until it ceases to be funny, Korea will still accept how black people act based on silly depictions of us on tv. Tis a sad thing unless someone important who Koreans admire SOMEHOW decides to speak up about it. That’s not likely but that’s probably all K-media needs.

    • @Jenn: hello and welcome! Thanks for your comment! I didn’t know that Brian was doing that imitation by the request of a PD….very interesting. Korean media should know by now that much of their broadcast is being seen the world over and it should automatically call for more sensitivity in their scripts. Well, perhaps they just don’t know how far-reaching their broadcasts are, but if they don’t know, they’d better ask somebody…well, everyone listens to Rain so if he decided to say something in defense of foreigners, I think most everyone in South Korea would listen!

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