Just one day after releasing their debut music video, rookie girl group XUM came under fire for a past video in which the members made racially disparaging comments about Filipino, African, and Native American heritage. Now, their company, A100 Entertainment, has issued a statement—but K-Pop fans aren’t happy with their excuses.
Before debuting as XUM, members Dayeon, Baekah, and Iaan were in another A100 Entertainment group called NeonPunch. Back in May 2020, when the XUM members were still part of NeonPunch, they released a YouTube video in which they took a DNA heritage test.
Throughout the course of the video, the members were seen making negative comments towards several ethnicities, including implying that one member may have African heritage because she “has a really loud voice“.
Within hours of the clip resurfacing on social media, A100 Entertainment removed the upload from YouTube. Now, they’ve issued a statement of apology, but many K-Pop fans aren’t happy with it.
Describing the situation as a “racist controversy“, A100 Entertainment said they “recognized that there was a clear racial problem” after double checking the video.
In the video, we apologize for the fact that XUM members displeased many of the conversations and subtitles about their ancestors.
— A100 Entertainment
The agency then went on to put the blame onto the video’s editing, translation, and subtitling team. According to A100 Entertainment, the editors used “misleading exaggerated scripts and offensive subtitles“.
In particular, we apologize for any more misleading parts of the subtitle translation process.
— A100 Entertainment
In the rest of the statement, XUM’s company apologized for “any areas of displeasure” and for “causing much concern to fans“. In their closing paragraph, they stated that both A100 Entertainment and XUM “are against racism and aim for equality and happiness for all of the world“.
Immediately upon its release, the statement from A100 Entertainment was met with mixed opinions. While some fans of XUM were happy that the company issued an apology swiftly, many more K-Pop enthusiasts don’t see it as an apology at all.
i will not be accepting this apology as i am part of one of the groups targeted in their video. i would like the girls to address why they said that and why they found it so funny. i would also like for everyone in a100 to be educated on racism, colorism, racial stereotyping https://t.co/8uANvZgZYe
— dayeon loops (@dayeonloop) September 24, 2020
Some are accusing A100 Entertainment of making excuses for the members. While some of the English subtitles in the video were added by staff (for example, “the girl between two exceptionally white members“), many more were direct translations of the members’ own words.
why are they blaming subtitles and saying that they were just misleading and taken out of context…. they literally just made a colorist/racist comment and laughed https://t.co/z8JmTMKTA0
— ٰ (@flutterfieId) September 24, 2020
so if it was a mistranslation… what were they actually saying? because all that laughter wasn’t the product of wrong subtitles. https://t.co/VXmh19uggV
— kinda ia ✜⁷ (@THICJ00N) September 24, 2020
Unhappy with the company’s statement, several viewers are calling on the members of XUM themselves to come forward and explain their actions.
Read the statement in its entirety below:
Hello. It is A100.
We are releasing a statement about the recent racist controversy about ‘DNA VIDEO’.
Our company double-checked the ‘DNA VIDEO’ video and recognized that there was a clear racial problem. In the video, we apologize for the fact that XUM members displeased many of the conversations and subtitles about their ancestors.
First of all, we acknowledge and apologize for the mistake of the editors using misleading exaggerated scripts and offensive subtitles. In particular, we apologize for any more misleading parts of the subtitle translation process.
There seems to be no excuse. I bow my head and apologize for any areas of displeasure. We will also be more cautious when making videos in the future and in everything else, and we promise that this will never happen again.
In addition, the video ‘DNA VIDEO’, which was uploaded on May 14, has been quickly deleted, and I would like to apologize for causing much concern to many fans due to this controversy.
Finally, we, A100 and XUM, are against racism and aim for equality and happiness for all of the world. In the future, we will become a better company and singer XUM.
— A100 Entertainment (@official_xum/Twitter)