SBS once again faces another controversy involving the youth sports drama "Racket Boys," starring Kim Sang Kyung, Oh Na Ra, Tang Jun Sang and more.
Premiered on May 31, the Monday and Tuesday drama follows the story of a Haenam school's boys' badminton team and their mission to enter the junior athletic competition.
"Racket Boys" Episode 5 Causes Dismay to Indonesian Viewers
Amid the solid viewership ratings, "Racket Boys" episode 5 gained a ton of online criticisms, most especially from Indonesian viewers.
It came after fans accused the drama of an "unfair" portrayal of their culture that depicts racial discrimination.
In the latest episode, the officials from the South Korean team went to Jakarta, Indonesia, for a tournament.
Over their gathering at a restaurant, National Team coach Fang (Ahn Nae Sang) ranted about the organizers being unjust and one-sided.
"The rooms are a mess, and they practice at the stadium while we're forced to practice at some run-down place with no air conditioner. Those jerks," coach Fang complained.
In one scene, Indonesian spectators cheered as top player Han Se Yoon (Lee Jae In) made a mistake. This made coach Fang even more furious and mentioned, "Gosh. Such bad manners."
Moreover, he was also suspicious about the Indonesian team planning to cheat in the competition and willing to do whatever it takes to weaken their star player.
"Racket Boys" Criticized for Racism Issue
Right after "Racket Boys" episode 5 aired, SBS was blasted by Indonesian viewers, accusing them of discrimination.
Over the broadcast network's official Instagram, the fans shared their dismay and said that they are disappointed over the bad portrayal.
In addition, some also pointed out that it was an insult to Indonesians.
Seemingly, others also demanded SBS to apologize for being racist and demeaning the Southeast Asian country and even threatened to boycott the drama.
As of this writing, representatives of "Racket Boys" and the broadcast network have not released any statement regarding the issue.
SBS Drama "Penthouse 3: War in Life" Controversy
This is not the first time that SBS was embroiled in a racism allegation.
Earlier this June, the top-rating Korean drama "Penthouse 3," which is considered the leading series of SBS, was also involved in the same controversy.
It came after Park Eun Seok's character, Alex, who happens to be Logan Lee's twin brother, was portrayed in a bad light.
In the drama, Alex dons a face tattoo, long dreadlocks, and speaks the African-American accent.
This irked the majority of the viewers and slammed the drama for cultural appropriation.
On the other hand, Park Eun Seok released a statement over his TikTok and asked for an apology.
He explained that the portrayal was "more admiration of the culture than mockery."
Following the actor's apology, the "Penthouse 3" production team explained their side and cleared the accusations.
"We were not intending to mock a specific race or culture," the representative shared.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 'Racket Boys' Cast and PD Attend Online Press Conference + Hints About Challenges and Story of the Upcoming SBS Sports Drama
KDramastars owns this article.
Written by Geca Wills