Korean netizens furious at Colbert 'Kimchi' parody

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.

'Ignorant', claim

colbert_korean_rain_satire clip on DaumIn the video, Colbert soon breaks into a deliberately clumsy song and dance routine. He riffs on a number of common cliches about Koreans, for example that they drive Hyundais and eat Kimchi.

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.

colbert korean kimchi songKorean pop singer

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.

Colbert's spoof music video, mimics a video released earlier by Rain. The Colbert Report segment is still viewable on YouTube, despite attempts by Comedy Central owner, Viacom, to have it removed.

According to Korean media reports, Rain, the singer mocked by Colbert's video segment has seen it, and said that he found it amusing.


That’s hilarious!

Welcome to America Koreans! Here we have freedom of speech. You guys need to loosen up a bit...

A bit of a d**k

Is it just me, or is this guy a bit of a dick? I think it's fair to say that us Americans have been offended by much less.

I've read most of the

I've read most of the comments the Korean netizens wrote on daum and naver and most of them know it is a JOKE and treat it as such. I believe it was the mistake of a mistaken "journalist" who wrote an article on Colbert's "mockery" of Rain.

Most Korean netizens were defending Colbert and stating that his clip serves more
as an introduction of Rain to a broader American audience and that we should thank him.

Korea's noisy nationalist net minority

I think the anger is mainly coming as usual from the same noisy nationalist minority, especially VANK, which demands Google to change the names on their maps and the CIA to change the descriptions in their factbook website. For example like the Dokdo Islands and the "East Sea" and a bunch of rediculous history fact.

They just see this stuff and hit their k/b without thinking. Feels like tehy Want to be angry, to me

There are some Rain/Bi fans were upset also, I think! Dunno what they said after he told them it was cool @_@

it's about half the comments

it's about half the comments I saw in begining are 'negative', but they calm down after when it explained by some one who know the USA culture. It might depends on what BBS your looking at, Some got more 'smarter' users!

Hey learn English

...Or stop spending your parents' money.


"That’s hilarious!

Welcome to America Koreans! Here we have freedom of speech. You guys need to loosen up a bit..."

The whole welcome to America and the freedom of the speech crap was not needed. it was offensive too. It seems like you have a sense of pride in being American since you're saying you have freedom of speech and need to loosen up and stuff. It's exactly the same. The Koreans here had a sense of pride because Rain was from their country and he represents them in the musical world, so of coarse some would be offended. I know this was a just a joke but tehre are people who take things seriously and this if definitely something that could be offending.

oh by the way, smart one, there is freedom of speech in Korea too :]].

Well, Technically, there

Well, Technically, there isn't in north Korea

Well, Technically, north

Well, Technically, north korea isn't south korea.


I'm Korean... loosen up.

I'm Korean...
loosen up. It's just a joke.
calm down and relax. geeeeees

Im korean...loosen up

you're absolutely correct. Bi said it was "cool" because he realizes that having an opportunity to have an introduction to the US on a widely viewed show is good for his image, and believe it or not-Korea's too. People dont take such parodys seriously in the US-because thats just what they are parodys. Its likely that after the show the audience didnt go home and start talking trash about Korea and its most famous singer, more likely at least a handful of people took interest in him and maybe learned how to spot South Korea on a map.

This is a remnant of an out-dated over nationalistic Korean mentality that needs to go if Korea is going to be taken more seriously-and Seoul and other cities are going to ever become places where foreigners feel comfortable living and working -which will benefit the entire nation of course! Sure headlines from the past like the "korean tiger" and "the miracle of han river" are more palatable to Koreans but now that Korea is on the cusp of becoming an advanced nation it is time to not only get used to the same bullshit that everyone else deals with -but put on a happy face and pretend to like it. How often do Americans poke fun at Canadians? Im honored, and if you ask any American where Canada is they will all point North and say "It must be north, huh?" (GREAT!)

Korean Parody or Homor

I agree with you -
Korean Netizens here can be mistaken that they just found out how cruel "humor " can be....but Koreans also make fun of Koreans...

If poking fun is done on a Political or religious or educational platform then that will be a different story.

Koreans Netizens are always vocal and supportive of their dramas. Keep that spirit up and don't take US humor too seriously, unless you wanna be a humorist....

I really don't tune in to him as much as I support KDramas and invest in them as well....like my dad always say ---just count your dollars all the way to the bank!....in Korean that will be count your won all the way to the bank........

TY for allowing me to share a bit of humor as well.

korea-freedom of speech

Freedom of speech in Korea??? Haha.. Please!

thats just it...

people here (in Korea) take things (TOO) seriously. Koreans' over the top nationalisism, (instilled in the 70's to help drive a miraculous transition-but now serving little if any purpose at all), is ridiculous to Americans as well as most of the world. Koreans are under the impression that Americans enjoy competing with and defeating Koreans just as much as Koreans enjoy defeating Americans. Fact of the matter is that most Americans cant find Korea on a map. So if Koreans are interested in furthering their development and becoming an advanced nation then they ought to be appreciative of any publicity that they can get. Besides, poking fun at one another is part of American culture -so it should actually make you warm and fuzzy inside rather than provoke ranting and raving. I guess that most ethnic Koreans are embarrassed everytime their relatives back home start crying over such petty and trivial nonesense as this.

everyone who post of here

everyone who post of here needs to go do something productive, your all a bunch of lazy asses.


Learn Engarishi!

Seriously, I think he has an attitude problem

Seriously, I think he has an attitude problem.

I don't really care about what he said, but frankly, he shouldn't make fun of people like that...

Colbert spoofs ALWAYS stir up trouble for people.

Why the hell can't they just cancel the stupid program? Its annoying, and its always these kind of things that cause conflict among people. sigh. all these money hungry shit stirrers. whatever.


Stephen's not REALLY an asshole, he plays one on TV. And even then, this was not insulting Rain, this was homage more than anything coming from Stephen the Man's part. It was due to Stephen the CHARACTER'S dislike of being upstaged that spawned this parody.

And frankly, you don't know the meaning of satire in the first place. Some people NEED to be spoofed/parodied/offended. Or are you afraid you'll hurt the Bush Crime Family's feewwings?

Some people just don't get it...

Um...wonder if Colbert ever

Um...wonder if Colbert ever did a 'spoof' on Clinton and 'Monica' and their white house experiment! LOL. If we're going to discuss Bush family crime, then it goes for almost all the politicians nowaday...especially Hilary Clinton and 'watergate'.

Lets think about this

He spoofs on RECENT events. News that just happened. Sorry, but the days of Clinton and Monica are over. I know you love seeing Democrats in bad light, but get over it. IF you want so laughs at them, look at how he portrays the Senate leader. (One of his nicknames, Uncle McFeelyhands)

What is wrong with you?

What is wrong with you? Idiot...

Jin jung ha sae yo! (calm down)

Funny, I would like to see the scientific research to support your comment "colbert spoofs always stir up trouble for people."

As a matter of fact, I am confident that just getting people to bring such stereotypes to the surface for open public dialogue does a great deal of good-in this case for Koreans.

Ive heard it so many times in Korea, that I am a foreigner so I couldnt possibly understand Korean culture-(and you never can because you are not Korean). Well, here goes, YOU PROBABLY ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH WESTERN CULTURE-But regardless of your ethnicity you can learn about western culture.

First let me say, I am not trying to insinuate that western culture is superior. For example, westerners ought to learn from Asians that we westerners are a tad bit overconfident due to the importance we place on the scientific method; we cant learn everything about everything-so we should be less arrogant and stop overanalyzing matters that do not yield to such study. However, on the flip side, a problem that plagues the korean education system and holds back Koreans from competing in the global human resource market (Korean CEO's will tell you-Im not making this up-I have spoken with dozens of executives for my book), is that Koreans do not learn to debate openly and criticize the ideas of others-mostly because of longstanding Confucian traditions of respecting elders and their views unequivically. In short, Koreans learn what to think, not how to think (again this is well documented BY KOREANS).

So, whoever wrote this response, I hope you are typing it from your PC in the US, and if so a word of advice -see what you can learn from western culture in between your ESL classes, and even better, teach some westerners about eastern culture as well. I bet you a bottle of soju that you will be the first to get emotional and bad mouth Americans, you may get slapped a couple of times, but soon enough you will realize that you dont have to bring emotions into a critical argument -its called public debate, and after you have mastered the skill and return to Korea you will be head and shoulders above your competition-congrats in advance, (hwa-ee-ting!^^)

what is cobert so pissed

what is cobert so pissed about? that he lost to a pop singer or a korean?

Colbert isn't really pissed

Colbert isn't really pissed at anybody (he just plays the blowhard to satirize the political blowhard pundits on American TV... in particular, Bill O'Reilly, whom his Report character is largely based). It wouldn't have mattered who came in first, he would have pretended that they were his long time enemy because he came in second.

or to a Korean?

Wow, youve never been to the US. For all the American people know Rain lives in beverly hills (and if so then probably better for Rain's career because some Americans may take interest in him). Koreans need to get over their inferiority complex. Canadians are dependent on the US too (#1 trade partner), and there are all kinds of US submarines in Northern Canada, where the US will not even acknowledge is Canadian land (refer to Dokdo). You want to be respected like an advanced country then stop crying every time a Korean loses to an American, and gloating everytime a Korean defeats an American -it makes my stomach turn. Ive been living in Korea for 7 years, I am married and have a family but I could never become a Korean citizen (if I wanted to) because I am not ethnically Korean. What does that tell you???

On a lighter note, and totally unrelated, I loved the quote from Colbert, "hey rain, when is Korea going to lift the embargo on balls?" that was hilarious! Side note, Korea should start opening up markets to global competition in order to become more competitive themselves, but kudos to rain, he kicked ass on dance nation-did you see the sparks flying!!!

Predictable response

Koreans are always assuming the worst when they get any attention in American media. Many Koreans hated Demi Moore in the 90's because she was in the movie Indecent Proposal. Don't see the connection? I don't blame you. Apparently she teaches a fat Asian woman ESL, and the woman is supposed to be Korean. Many Koreans thought this was Demi Moore's perception of Koreans.

Further, Michael Douglas was reviled for trashing a Korean's convenience store in "Falling Down," and it actually took about 8 years for their Ministry of Truth (sorry, "The Ministry of Sports and Culture," to approve the movie for Korean audiences. I'm pretty sure they cut the convenience store section out.

In the end, they're not really a "big picture" culture when it comes to subtlety in literature or humour.

get the facts

Um, it seems to my that Koreans are neurotic.

Calm down, deep breaths. No they don't dislike you, they actually do like you a lot, but your neuroses disgraces yourself. No, it's not 'all' about you. Some of it's about me.


Koreans are "quick to come to a boil and quick to cool off" as they say. Perhaps when Korean students return home from studying in the US due to the depreciating of the korean won kids can inform their parents of what the world is actually like (but probably not, Confucianism would deem such a thing as disrespectful). Well, keep our fingers -some day!

There are levels to Colbert's humor

This is hard. It's a feature of Colbert's humor that takes some getting used to.

Steven Colbert is not making fun of Koreans--he is making fun of ignorant Americans who lazily believe that Koreans only drive Hyundais and only eat kimchee.

He's pretending to be an idiot. He made fun of President Bush at a dinner with Bush in attendance--by acting like a stupid Bush supporter and saying things that only a very stupid Bush supporter would say.

Really and truly--he's making fun of loud, ignorant Americans by pretending to be even louder and more ignorent than the worst of them!


sarcasm in c20-21 may have a tendancy tho become or re-enforce the object of satire.
discuss glibly with an off hand sense of righteousness and justified anger, correctly.

love u rain 4 watever

hey rain U KNOW I LOVE U ,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY , wish u 4 everything in life i love u.


I've seen colbert's show before, just not this particular episode. I think he's funny. Of course, Asian culture is completely different from American culture, so I would expect them to be offended to some degree.


He should be taking people's

He should be taking people's feelings into account more. How Koreans they can know it is parody?

Hey stupid

Please learn English!

Grow a thicker skin,

Grow a thicker skin, slow-poke.

You Koreans need to lighten up

and get a sense of humor

hahaha! It's just satire!

It's just satire. Koreans, if your so uptight about it, don't look on youtube for things to offend you. I don't think the colbert Report airs in Korea anyway. So, just, if you still don't understand, it's just Stephen making fun of Americans, not you. Or, even, his character making fun of Americans. Look, my point is, don't watch it you're going to be offended.

its a freaking joke!!!!!!

its a freakin joke koreans. get your undies out of a bunch and laugh. its so hilarious and great satire. you guys get Wikipeia there so read all about stephen and his characters and take some chill pills. im 12 and think its the best stephen colbert video ever. its also my fav youtube video next to flight of the conchords "part time model"

my point is: BE LOOSE!!!ITS A JOKE!

that was awesome

I have nothing against Rain. In fact I find him to be very talented! But this, I must admit, gave me the giggles for DAYS. :-)

haha i thought it was

haha i thought it was hilarious. i do think everyone needs to loosen up. i still watch this a ton, and i'm even asian.

Dead Link

Try Here:

It is easy to understand cultural gaps that may insult others. Still, this will appear clearly ridiculous if you have spent much time in the U.S., England, Europe, South America, the Western World. Geez, in fact, I am pretty sure I have witnessed parody in many parts of Asia, personally.

Also, Colbert never says anything like Koreans are stupid or racist or anything slanderous like that. He just tries to fill a few a few moments in a dorky way implying his own deep ignorance of Korean culture. It is more self deprecating to implicate himself as an idiotic racist ranting conservatively than it is insulting to Korean culture.

I'm korean... and about half

I'm korean... and about half of the jokes are only understood by koreans anyways.
like "seoul" singer or hawk eyes and hotlips. All of my fellow koreans' reactions were the same: they sent it to all their other korean friends because it was so funny.

I don't know about native

I don't know about native Koreans, but all the Korean Americans I know who have seen it (including myself) think it's hilarious.

are you joking?!?!?! it's

are you joking?!?!?! it's the greatest thing ever!!!! Rain and Korean media is finally getting some ATTENTION!!!!!! And he never makes it negative - it's always "omg!! how am i gonna meet him!" etc. I think it's GREAT!!!!!!!! X3 <333

Omg I can't believe people

Omg I can't believe people get mad at this...!
Seriously some people don't see humor in anything, Koreans should just be proud Rain got some more exposure to the American public. Besides it was just a fun video, it wasn't harmful to Rain's rep in anyway, in fact it was genius.

the only correct response is:

Who gives a f*ck?

"He riffs on a number of common cliches about Koreans, for example that they drive Hyundais and eat Kimchi.
Lines like these soon had angry Korean netizens calling him “ignorant” in postings online."

I love Korea, I live here, my wife is Korean. I prefer it here.

But most Korean people eat kimchi and many Korean people drive Hyundais.

It's like saying most English people have bad teeth, the food sucks and it is always cloudy.
Well I love my home country, but a ton of people here do have awful teeth, the food is lousy and it is cloudy for most of year.

if you can't laugh at yourself you might as well kill yourself

I love Rain and Colbert.

Colbert's just trying to be a comedian.
He doesn't hate Rain and Rain doesn't hate ?Colbert. =] Koreans of South Korea just doesn't know much about the American Media industry. I'm sure its all mistaken. =]


hahahah! omg im korean

hahahah! omg
im korean myself and i didn't find this offensive at all. in fact, i was laughing so hard i had tears in my eyes. okay maybe not that hard but this was pretty hilarious xD
and i agree with what some people wrote here; that koreans living in south korea don't really understand american humor