Korean internet users are up in arms over a satirical video clip from US humorist Stephen Colbert.
On a recent edition of his Comedy Central show, the Colbert Report, Colbert delivered a tongue-in-cheek rant about being defeated by a Korean pop star in Time Magazine's ranking of the world's most influential people. The video clip was widely distributed on video sharing services like YouTube, swiftly coming to the notice of Korean bloggers and media.
Lines like these soon had angry Korean netizens calling him “ignorant” in postings online. Some even criticised his poor pronunciation of the Korean language. “Can any Koreans in America give him a beating?”, one asked.
While some Koreans appeared either confused or angered by the video, others said that it was just 'American humor', and should not be seen as an insult to anyone.
Mockery of President Bush
At least one Korean blogger pointed out that Colbert had earlier drawn attention for his mockery of US President Bush and his administration at the White House last year.
However, despite this, some Koreans appear unaware of the satirical nature of Colbert's work, and see the parody as a genuine attack on the Korean singer and on Koreans in general.
A Korean singer known by the name Rain won the Time online poll with 470,000 votes – equivalent to 1 percent of Korea's population. Colbert was runner up with 278,000. Time's polling system has been criticized for unreliability and vulnerability to fraud.
According to Korean media reports, Rain, the singer mocked by Colbert's video segment has seen it, and said that he found it amusing.