It’s only natural that we Koreans share the pride and joy by congratulating with Yoon Yeo Jung’s recent success in winning the two world prestigious Film awards - the Oscar and the British Bafta, for best supporting actress her role in Minari.

I just happened to listen to the BBC news that contained a short interview with her and other winners and then my heart sank, in disbelief, when she said a few broken words in English “… (unbelievably) who could give it to me, an Asian and Korean……”

I also learned that she had commented at the British reward ceremony that “You snobbish British people approved of me as a good actress and I am happy…” which was totally out of order in protocol-wise. She was probably overwhelmed by receiving a honourable reward that made her feel humble and express herself and be funny that way. However, there are many other good and constructive words for it. Why did she have to choose such ridiculous words that denigrating herself, the Koreans and the Asians.

In that Bafta ceremony, as I know too well that the British people just laughed off such a clumsy comment from her.

I again, question her. “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with being Koreans/ Asians? Why did you need to make such snide remarks to the British people so rudely? With what right, did you have to bring all of us into contempt, so insecurely, while you were obtaining such great rewards that was so inspiring?

Surely, her precise words produced enough nuances and implications, voluntarily or involuntarily, that the status of all of us let alone her own one. The people of the world at the ceremony might’ve taken her passing comment not seriously, momentarily though. But it can indeed contribute to them as a reminder of the inferior complex typically coming from the people of the third world countries, who have a chip on their shoulder.

And, it certainly doesn’t coincide with the fact when westerners make even a small remark on a race basis against Koreans who react with such uproar. And if the westerners came to Korea for rewards and made the same remarks on Koreans, the outcome will be obvious. Nevertheless, people in the west as mainly whites are so proud that they don’t belittle themselves regarding their race in the International stages. However much, I was pleased hear that wonderful news of Yoon’s success but also feel so dejected and betrayed with this criss-crossed feelings.

 

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