par Lily Alice, mai 28, 2024

As allegations surfaced that Im Yoon Ah, a world-famous K-pop idol and actress, was subjected to racial discrimination, more such cases of racial discrimination faced by Korean celebrities have come to light.

Im Yoon Ah attended the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival wearing a pink gown and received a warm welcome from foreign reporters and fans. 

As much as photos of her have gone viral, an incident where she faced alleged racial discrimination from a security guard at Cannes is also garnering attention. 

On May 26, the Indian English daily newspaper Hindustan Times reported, "Cannes is facing a firestorm after a security guard, recently called out for similar actions, allegedly targeted K-pop idol Yoon Ah with racist treatment. Just days after a red carpet confrontation by Kelly Rowland, followed by Dominican actress Massiel Taveras, the guard reportedly singled out Yoon Ah, making it difficult for her to interact with cameras. Fans believe that the security guard has a real problem with a few 'women of colour from posing on the stairs.'"

The security guard had previously faced accusations of racial discrimination while guarding African-American singer and actress Kelly Rowland and Dominican Republic actress Massiel Taveras at this film festival. It was reported that this security guard only prevented stars of color from communicating with the press or fans and hastened them to move along. 

Videos of Kelly Rowland and Massiel Taveras angry with the same security guard have also spread online. Rowland was seen reprimanding her and Massiel Taveras was spotted shoving the security guard away from her in anger due to the guard's consistent efforts to usher them into the venue, and not letting them comfortably pose for the photos. 

The UK publication Daily Mail reported that the colleagues of the security guard at the center of the Cannes spotlight insisted that she was acting appropriately and was "only doing her job."

A Festival staff veteran, who has been working in the resort every May for 20 years said to Daily Mail, "She was an usher working under a lot of pressure to keep people on the carpet moving, so as to stop crowds building up." "There was no pushing or shoving, or scolding," he said. "Security and safety are the priorities, along with keeping to strict timetables set according to contracts – even the celebrities have to stick to the rules."

"Lots of ushers are involved, and they always act professionally and with politeness." He added, "In this case, the usher was certainly only doing her job – she didn't do anything wrong."

Though Im Yoon Ah did not outwardly express anger, she looked noticeably uncomfortable and annoyed. The video of Yoon Ah hesitating as the security guard blocked her with his arm also spread on social media. 

This is not the first time a Korean celebrity has faced racial discrimination at Cannes. At the 75th Cannes Film Festival in 2022, French beauty influencer Maria Travel was caught bumping into the top South Korean singer and actress IUCosmopolitan reported that "the influencer didn't look back at her and continued walking as if nothing happened." Travel faced huge criticism and later issued an apology on social media.  

Another incident of racial discrimination was recently brought up by actress Han Ye Seul. She revealed an Italian hotel discriminated against her during her honeymoon in Italy. 

On May 27, Han Ye Seul posted a message along with photos of her visit to the hotel on her social media. 

The boy band group Stray Kids also faced racial discrimination. 

On May 6, Stray Kids attended the 2024 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, USA. As much as they shone in their outfits, the members also faced alleged racist comments from the paparazzi.

The paparazzi made rude comments like, "I've never seen so many so many unemotional faces before," and "They're robots." Then, when the members took off their coats to reveal their outfits, a photographer said, "Oh, now we have to do it again?" Someone also said, "Now, let's do it with feelings. Everybody jump." The paparazzi were also heard laughing.

The video went viral on social media. Fans at home and abroad demanded apologies from the paparazzi and event organizers.