TRADING card manufacturer Topps came under fire Mach 17 for their racist depiction of the K-pop boyband BTS.
Topps came under fire after unveiled their BTS card, which was included in their Grammy-themed Garage Pail Kids sticker collection titled, The Shammy Awards.
Why are boyband BTS trending?
The trading card company's latest sticker collection line features illustrations of performers Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Harry Styles.
Topps was blasted for their illustration of BTS, which was labeled BTS Bruisers, and depicted the South Korean boyband as whack-a-mole characters, bruised and scarred after being beaten with a Grammy.
The cartoon follows accusations by fans that Grammy producers exploited BTS and their huge fan base for ratings.
The producers are accused of positioning BTS' performance second-to-last of the night because of the high anticipation from fans.
Fans of the boyband said Topps' illustration was insensitive, particularly due to the increased reports of hate crimes against Asian people, and the fatal shooting at three massage parlors in Atlanta on March 16.
Robert Aaron Long is accused of gunning down eight people at three different massage parlors the evening of March 16 – six of the eight victims were Asian.
The recent increase of hate crimes against Asian's was denounced on social media, as supporters stood in solidarity with the Asian community by using the hashtag Stop Asian Hate.
What did Topps say about the GPK card?
After receiving backlash for their BTS depiction, Topps issued an apology saying they removed the sticker.
"We hear and understand our consumers who are upset about the portrayal of BTS in our GPK Skammy Awards product and we apologize for including it.
"We have removed the BTS sticker card from the set, we have not printed any of the sticker card and it will not be available," the company said.
What did people on social media say about Topps sticker?
A supporter of the boyband wrote on Twitter, "This is really unprofessional and racist, and as an ARMY I would never ever get somthing [SIC] like this even if it was for free."
An angry fan denounced the company's apology, saying, "firstly we r not your freakin' consumers get it?
"Secondly i dont think this is an apology where i dont see the reason for your apology mentioned! Who's accepting this? No One!"
Another supporter tweeted at Topps, "Topps, when you apologize you don't start with that sentence. You start with apology. Obviously, you still don't get why us Asians are furious.
"This is beyond BTS Fandom. It is time to look deep in your organization as a whole. The fact this idea was approved says volumes," the Twitter user added.
Another person wrote, ". @Topps @Chrisameeks 6 asian women were MURDERED today. this can't even be brushed off as tone deafness or a pathetic attempt at satire– it would irresponsible and harmful to do so. you should be ashamed."
"Meanwhile @Topps thinks violence against Asians is funny right now. #StopAsianHate," another individual tweeted.
The hashtag #RacismIsNotComedy quickly started trending, with BTS fans – known as the ARMY – calling for an apology from both Topps and the author of the illustration.
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