BREAKING NEWS: Black Woman Featured Prominently in K-Pop Video

Thank you, Jay Park. The dancer, named Mauika Cole(?) has a nice 20-second feature in his new video, "Know Your Name" (starting at about 2:07):

Not a fan of the song or the video (cameraperson taking liberties with the tilt and zoom here) but finally! some inclusiveness in k-pop that includes black people as more than a 5 seconds or less cameo.

Curious to see how SK reacts to this. There was all sorts of fan hate when JYJ went on their first world tour and Yoochun was getting down with their dancer Telisha Shaw, and also when she and Junsu appeared to be close:

I don't think it'll be that big of a deal in this case though. While she's the only woman in this video, she's a dance partner, not a love interest, and the video of the acoustic version of "Know Your Name" shows that the sweet, demure girl is still the favored leading lady in k-pop.

Still - yay for brown women!

School's crazy at the mo, so I think this'll be the extent of my blogging for this week. If you're interested in reading more on race and k-pop here, check out these posts:


  1. There was all sorts of fan hate when JYJ went on their first world tour and Yoochun was getting down with their dancer Telisha Shaw, and also when she and Junsu appeared to be close

    Apparently a lot of this fan backlash was coming from international K-pop fans in the USA. It's always the foreign fans that enjoy being elitist, kind of like with the Black gyaru and lolita issue on twitter.

    1. really? interesting. there's been some talk on Seoulbeats about racism in k-pop, so I figured this was just another facet of it. It's partly comforting and disturbing that it's the non-Korean fans that have such an issue with Telisu (I love that name btw - so cute!)

    2. I'm actually not surprised that it's international fans who would have an issue. I think that international fans have an image of Korea/Kpop as this homogenous place or industry, and it's comforting for them, despite the fact that kpop emulates and borrows from pop culture that is not Korean or homogenous, pop culture that is made by black people, in fact (R&B and hip hop).

    3. Ah, Telisha Shaw...

      As someone who has actually talked to Telisha Shaw, and as the author of the article that introduced Telisha to the Cassies and K-pop fans, I feel I should comment.

      eccentricyoruba was right on one count: it was the international fans that got nasty with Telisha. However it had nothing to do with the fans being "elitist" or some such nonsense. It was simply because they knew of Telisha and were able to interact with her. As far as I know, most Korean fans remain completely unaware of the "Telisha scandal".

      People started getting mad at Telisha when she reacted so enthusiastically to her new fans and followers. I think cultural differences came into play here. Telisha was just being her playful, cheeky self but some fans saw as conceited.

      It didn't start as a race thing, but I think it became one. The things some people said... It was just unbelievable how nasty they got. Telisha was this talented, sexy (black) woman in Junsu's life and they just couldn't handle it.

    4. Thanks so much for the info! I'm hoping to do another post about race and k-pop, so this is really helpful. The split b/w the international and Korean fandoms can be really interesting

  2. umm regarding Telisha XD
    she was actually trolling JYJ fans that she is so close with them and there's her song Secret trolling the fans more so she got a lot of hate. its not really about skin color XD

  3. Rainbow also had black guy in there video "Sweet dreams" dancing in the club in black ground with rest of the extras. Not only in K pop but I was watching my fav J pop group Perfume on TV show/interview and then 3 black guys pop out of no where. But I really like the Chinese they actually have foreigners come on the show (they talk in Chinese.)

  4. lol, we all know about this scandal in the korean world. it was sad but oh well, there's always a tomorrow. nice blog btw :)


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