Jimmy Carr branded racist over joke about Korean boy band BTS
Jimmy Carr has come under fire after making a "racist" joke about Korean boyband, BTS.
The British comedian is one of a group of entertainers who were labelled "xenophobic" by outraged fans after appearing in a segment about the pop group on Channel Nine's 20 to One on Thursday.
Carr himself was blasted by people on social media after saying: "When I first heard something Korean had exploded in America, I got worried... So I guess it could've been worse - but not much worse."
Watch the controversial segment here:
However, the entertainer's comments were just some of many that riled fans.
To begin the segment, hosts Erin Molan and Nick Cody introduced the group as "the biggest band you've never heard of," after saying that if Kim Jong-un was "well into boybands," it could "heal the rift" between North and South Korea.
Molan went on to name them the "South Korean One Direction," while Cody said: "Yeah, never heard of them".
"They're the first Korean act to have a number one in America - which is made even more impressive because only one band member actually speaks English," Molan added.
Actor Rob Mills then appeared on screen saying "I have no idea what they're singing about, but these guys are great. The choreography is great, the singing is... passable," before the show played a clip of BTS member Jimin's voice cracking on stage during a performance.
In addition, a mixture of commentators joked about their "totally gangster" names, mocked the band members' philanthropic efforts, saying they likely spoke about "hair products" in their speech to the UN, and suggested they fire four of their seven members, because there were too many of them.
After the segment aired, Twitter was flooded with complaints from BTS fans, who argued the footage was "racist".
The hashtags #Channel9Racist and #Channel9ApologizeToBTS were included in tens of thousands of tweets, with @incorrectjeon writing: "this is f*cking disgusting and racists as f*ck
@20toOne fucking apologise not only is it rude to the artists but y’all also offended armys this sh*t ain’t it don’t ever include bts in your sh*tty show if y’all can’t even give them respect [sic]".
Twitter user @juhimahmood1 added: "Look jokes are meant to be funny but
@BTS_twt went though a lot to get the recognition they deserved. Joking about them in a racist way is not funny. One direction? How funny because they aren't together anymore where bts is still going stronger [sic]."
However, other people online defended Jimmy Carr in particular, with followers of his work insisting there was nothing discriminatory about his comments.
"oh my god what jimmy carr said on that bts video was fucking funny [sic]," wrote @cateramshaw. "It was a joke! people are so touchy about anything these days just relax it’s not like it hurt anyone. that’s just what jimmy carr’s humour is like! it’s satire! [sic]".
A Twitter user named @Miss_Mehh also wrote: "I'm a fan of both and I don't think the joke was racists or offensive, it was just an attempt at an edgy joke, which coming from
@jimmycarr was pretty tame haha!! [sic]".
Channel 9, which broadcasts 20 to One, has since issued a public apology, stating the segment was designed to "humorously highlight the popularity of the group".
"As a light-hearted entertainment program, it is our belief that last night's episode of 20 to One, which highlighted the Greatest Global Crazes, did not breach any broadcast regulations, and was intended to humorously highlight the popularity of the group," they wrote in a statement. "We apologise to any who may have been offended by last night's episode."