Netflix’s Squid Game sure is expanding into pop culture, not least of which is a number of trends on TikTok.
Sorn, a Thai singer who is a K-pop star with the South Korean girl group CLC, is catching some backlash for a seemingly innocuous TikTok she made, in apparent collaboration with skincare brand Wishtrend. In the video, the singer recommends beauty products for each character. While the original post by @wishtrendtv has since been privatized on TikTok, you can check it out below from someone posting it to Twitter:
As you can see in the post, the singer offers many skin products to the character of Ali, played by the Indian actor Tripathi Anupam. Since his skin is much darker in tone than the other characters, people are saying the post is an example of colorism and/or racism, since the character is also given the largest amount of skin products by far. But is this what it seems?
The post has apparently generated enough controversy for Wishtrend to make it private, including no longer making the comments section available to the public on TikTok. However, this reporter was able to view the post before it was made private and nabbed the following screenshot of a comment from Wishtrend, saying that the reason Ali gets lots of products is because they “love” the character, compared to just a single cotton pad for old man character Oh Il-nam, who turns out to be the dastardly mastermind of the deadly games in the show.
That line of thinking seemed to convince some people that the post was misinterpreted.
However, despite that response, the post clearly has upset a lot of fans. And for a platform that relies so heavily on the cryptic language of body gestures, we’re not surprised the original message of the post may have come across wrong, despite what may have been only good intentions from Sorn and Wishtrend.
In addition, there were some rumors that the skincare products Sorn wanted to give to Ali were skin-lightening products, adding to the colorism allegations. However, we could not find any proof of that. And that claim seems to have been largely debunked by a Twitter sleuth.
The seeming layers upon layers of misunderstanding have led to some defenders of Sorn’s Squid Game post, too.
So what do you think? Has this bit of Squid Game controversy been blown out of proportion? Let’s talk about it.