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KPOP Cast Members Speak Out Against Remarks Made in New York Times Review

KPOP Cast Members Speak Out Against Remarks Made in New York Times Review

In his review, Jesse Green commented on the "squint-inducing lighting", which many members of the show's cast took issue with.

Members of the cast of KPOP the Musical are speaking out about remarks made by New York Times critic Jesse Green in his review of the musical.

In his review, Green commented on the "squint-inducing lighting", which many members of the show's cast took issue with.

"Green is entitled to his critical opinion, but he is not entitled to rely on racism - overt or subvert in doing so," cast member John Yi wrote in an Instagram post. "It is an even more insidious form of violence when you fail to say the quiet thing out loud, but let it linger beneath the surface by resting on tropes such as 'squint-inducing'..."

He goes on to say, "I am shocked that not a single [New York Times] editor caught this racist trope" and says that Green owes an apology to the show's cast, creative team, and to the AAPI community.

A post shared by John Yi (@mrjohnyi)

Yi is not the only cast member to speak up about this. Abraham Lim took to Instagram as well to post a video in which he discussed his thoughts on Green's review.

"'Squint-inducing' to describe any element of the first Korean story on Broadway with a cast made up of mostly Asians (and the only wholly original new show on Broadway this season) was not it," he writes.

Several cast members commented on both Yi and Lim's posts, including Kevin Woo who wrote "I stand with you" and Jully Lee who commented "Thank you for saying what needs to be said out loud."

KPOP officially celebrated its opening night on November 27 at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Starring K-pop super star Luna as MwE, KPOP is directed by Teddy Bergman, features a book by Jason Kim; choreography by Jennifer Weber; music, lyrics, music production and arrangements by Helen Park; and music and lyrics by Max Vernon.

In addition to Luna, KPOP stars Julia Abueva, BoHyung (from the K-pop group SPICA and half of the duo KEEMBO), Major Curda, Jinwoo Jung, Jiho Kang, Amy Keum, James Kho, Marina Kondo, Eddy Lee, Joshua Lee, Jully Lee, Lina Rose Lee, Timothy H. Lee, Abraham Lim, Min (from the K-pop group Miss A), Kate Mina Lin, Aubie Merrylees, Patrick Park, Zachary Noah Piser, Kevin Woo (from the K-pop group U-KISS), and John Yi.

The exhilarating energy of a stadium concert meets the talent and passion of your favorite musical in KPOP! Packed with pulse-pounding new music and electrifying choreography, this original musical explores the relentless discipline, raw talent, and commercial ambition behind the international sensation. As global superstars put everything on the line for a special one-night-only concert, they face struggles both cultural and personal that threaten to dismantle one of the industry's hottest labels. Featuring a cast of K-pop and musical theater stars, it's a multimedia experience unlike anything else on Broadway.

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