If you're on Twitter, you've probably seen the hashtag "#cancelkorea" going around this week, and it's been ~dividing~ Netizens. In a Twitter thread on September 9, 19-year-old Frankie Pangilinan, who is known for being outspoken about her views when it comes to social issues, said:
"Why is cancel Korea trending as if Pinoys aren't racist af too? Come on now u know those are individuals with deep-set discrimination, not a cultural predisposition that a hashtag is going to change. How tf [are] we sposed to cancel a whole race [clown face emoji] cancel racism instead noh? I'm so disappointed."
Some Twitter users are also advocating for the use of the hashtags #ApologizeToFilipinos #CancelToxicKoreans, and #CancelRacism when talking about the issue instead.
A few days ago, Bella Poarch, a Filipino social-media influencer based in Hawaii, was rebuked by South Korean netizens when she got a tattoo of "a red sun with 16 rays." It reminded people of Japan's "rising sun" symbol, which some have compared to the Nazi swastika. It became Imperial Japan's military and navy flag and was used when Japan occupied Korea.
After the *uproar*, Bella had her tattoo covered and issued an apology: "I apologize to Koreans because six months ago I got a tattoo of the red sun with 16 rays. At that time, I didn't know the history. But when I found out, I immediately had it covered and scheduled for removal. I am ashamed of myself for not doing my research. I sincerely apologize."
The #cancelkorea hashtag started when some Koreans left insulting and "racist" comments on Bella's posts, saying that the Philippines is a "poor country" and a "slave state" and that Pinoys are "uneducated" and "short." Filipinos were quick to remind everyone of our soldiers' service during the Korean War, and pointed out that the PH is one of the biggest supporters of K-pop and K-drama in the world. Some fans were even saying that they will "put down their lightstick and raise our own flag" because of the issue.
Today, Bella wrote on Twitter: "Y'all can attack me. I'm ok with that. But when y'all attack Philippines and make fun of them, that's when I lose my sh*t."
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.