Met Gala 2022: Chicago-born Johnny of NCT faces racism, fans 'tired of idols being disrespected in US'

A photographer assumed K-pop idol Johnny Suh doesn't understand English as he did not respond to him immediately


                            Met Gala 2022: Chicago-born Johnny of NCT faces racism, fans 'tired of idols being disrespected in US'
A fan accidentally recorded a photographer being racist while Johnny was leaving for the Met Gala (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images, @dygenre/Twitter)
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Fans were first impressed when it was revealed that NCT’s Johnny Suh would be attending his very first Met Gala on May 2, 2022. Known to be a fashionista himself, the K-pop idol did not disappoint as he sported a satin suit with a long tailcoat while sticking to the theme of the Gilded Age and white tie. He also proved that he was indeed a social butterfly as he bonded with the likes of Kris Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Chloe Kim, Anderson .Paak, and Korean model and actress HoYoen Jung. 

Unfortunately, Johnny’s Met Gala debut was marred by a racist incident which has K-pop Twitter furious. The NCT 127 star was met with a crowd vying for photographs of him in front of his hotel, The Mark, before going to the Met Gala’s red carpet. Among the crowd were his fans, his fansites and the usual New York paparazzi and media. In the clamor, one of the photographers asked Johnny to look over to his side for a photograph.

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Johnny Suh and Peter Do attend The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Photographer passes racist comment towards NCT’s Johnny

Johnny did not immediately respond to the paparazzi to which the man said, “He doesn’t understand a word I’m saying. F**k.” The photographer assumed that since Johnny did not acknowledge him and was Asian, he did not speak English. Fans pointed out that it was racist for the paparazzi to assume Johnny did not speak the language because he looked a certain way. In fact, Johnny Suh is an American citizen and was born and brought up in Chicago. This is not the first time that such an incident has taken place.

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Back in 2019, the host of ‘KTLA 5 Morning News’ had complimented Johnny’s English assuming that he must have learned it for the press junket. Johnny’s response had become a meme as he had looked at the camera confused and said, “I’m from Chicago.” At the same time, another NCT member, Mark Lee was complimented on another show for speaking English as the host did not realize that he is Canadian.

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'Tired of idols being disrespected in the US '

Fans and non-fans are angry with the New York paparazzi with one K-pop fan page even going as far as to message him on Instagram, “Finished talking to the photographer who made the comment towards Johnny Suh.” Another tweeted, “How ignorant and racist are some people ‘he won’t understand a word i’m saying’ your country is full of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, johnny is american, he can perfectly understand what you’re saying.” One fan posted, “The racist photographer?? I'm tired of idols being disrespected in the US SPECIALLY when they are from the US, JOHNNY IS AMERICAN.” 

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Another user said, “This video keeps showing up on my tl. now that I've listened to it, that photographer needs to lose his job. the fact that he said it so blatantly knowing there's cameras around everywhere??” One fan commented on the photographer’s statement that he was not racist, “It's giving where are you REALLY from vibes.” Another shared, “If this racist, xenophobic ass mf did a quick google search to learn the correct pronunciation of his name maybe johnny would have spared him a passing glance.” One pointed out, “Even if Johnny wasn’t American, that photographer was still racist af. besides, not every American speaks English anyway.”

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Fans also felt that the Met Gala interviewers were racist, “Vogue obviously ignoring all the johnny questions in the replies or let alone not interviewing him is blatantly racist bc there r a few first-time attendees for the met gala this year and youre telling me ALL THOSE TIME YOU COULD NOT INTERVIEW JOHNNY? ffs u had 3 interviewers.” Another said, “Just wanted to say: F**k Met Gala for not posting any red carpet pics of Johnny Suh... Racist and xenophobic as always.”

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