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TV Host Ignites Online Battle Between Brazil and South Korea with "Racist" Joke

Picture of Cassam Looch
Film Editor
Updated: 24 July 2017
A popular TV personality from Brazil has sparked an international incident with potentially racist comments and gestures he made during an interview with a well-known South Korean pop band.

K-Pop group KARD were on the Tuma do Vovo Raul show, hosted by Raul Gil, and were visibly annoyed by the insensitive gestures and facial expressions during a segment on stage. Later on the same show, Gil made a comment to a young Japanese guest that he had “better open his eyes”.

Brazil has the largest Japanese population in the world, outside of Japan itself.

South Koreans have gone online to vent their anger, claiming the comments and gestures were xenophobic and racist. Commentators on South Korea’s web portal Nate added that the presenter was “vulgar”, “fat” and that Brazil was “much poorer” than their nation.

Jibes even extended to pot shots at Brazil‘s humiliating defeat 7-1 at the World Cup at the hands of Germany in 2014.

Social media users in Portuguese-speaking countries have retaliated by pointing out racist incidents in South Korean media. Brazilians have also defended the reputation of their country.

Do you think the comments by Raul Gil were racist, or have South Koreans overreacted?