Filipino-American Tiktoker Bella Poarch ensued an online war between the Filipinos and the Koreans because of a Japanese Rising Sun Flag tattoo on her left arm.
Poarch posted a video dancing and South Koreans spotted the tattoo similar to Nazi Swastika, which may be a symbol of luck and good fortune in Japan, but also a flag is linked to the Japanese imperialism.
As it turned out, the influencer got the tattoo because she was inspired by American singer Jhene Aiko.
Experts claimed that the symbol romantacizes and rewrites the human rights abuses made by the Japanese soldiers to the countries they colonized during World War II. South Korea was among its casualties.
Poarch immediately issued an apology video on Tiktok and wrote, “I’m very sorry if my tattoo offends you. I love Korea. Please forgive me.”
She also commented stating, “I will have the tattoo removed or do a cover-up. I did not know the history behind this tattoo and I will educate others about it.”
Still, South Korean Tiktok users accused Poarch of ignorance. In addition to the comments, several of them also threw racist and offensive slurs towards Filipinos, calling the latter “short and uneducated”.
Coming to their defense, Filipino netizens refused to let the hate pass by. They initiated the #cancelkorea trend which immediately entered Twitter’s trending topics on Wednesday morning.
Majority of the users who aired out their disappointment on social media were K-Culture, K-Pop, and K-Drama fans:
— Ciri (@artbyciri) September 9, 2020
INSULTING ANY RACE AND COUNTRY IS 𝗡𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗥 RIGHT.
WE FILIPINOS MAY HAVE GOOD HEARTS AND FRIENDLY IN NATURE BUT WE ARE 𝗡𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗥 SILENCED WHEN WE ARE NOT TREATED JUST.
I STRONGLY STAND AND RAISE OUR FLAG. 🇵🇭
— cyjxx🤖 (@cyxxx19) September 9, 2020
— || GFxSVT 🍎 (@mdgf_buddy) September 8, 2020
— Mark 🎯 (@MarkDart1698) September 9, 2020
I'm proud to be a kpop and kdrama fan, but for now let me put down my lightstick and raise my own flag. Some koreans may have insulted us filipinos and our country, hence we should not curse on them and show RESPECT that they haven't showed #cancelkorea#ApologizeToFilipinos pic.twitter.com/U2nZFsXOX7
— alexxx_ (@0713Alexandra) September 8, 2020
Bella Poarch was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the United States with the family when she was 13.
Photo Credit: Instagram/bella.poarch