Interesting article in Forbes about k-pop’s recent fores into the U.S. market:
Why is this year different from all the other years? Stateside K-pop fanaticism is on the rise as always, but it still hasn’t quite cracked into mainstream consciousness.
Thank China. Experts are pointing to Beijing’s backlash against THAAD, the U.S. missile system that was installed in South Korea this year. The Chinese government saw THAAD as a security threat when it was installed in July 2016, and later outlawed Korean cultural imports to China, including new Korean television and music. Tourism companies were banned in March from organizing group excursions to Korea.
This could be great for the United States, where Asians do not receive the media exposure that they should. Shows like Fresh Off The Boat and Dr. Ken, rappers like Dumbfounded and Awkafina, and personalities like Eddie Huang are doing a great part in providing some representation. It would be great to see what k-pop brings to the mix.
Look, k-pop is not perfect. It has issues with homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, racism, and labor rights violations. But, perhaps its incursion into the U.S. market could make people question racist stereotypes about Asians, and perhaps even expand definitions of masculinity.
And I, for one, welcome our new k-pop overlords.
(Yes, that is a The Simpsons reference.)