Topps Company's Garbage Pail Kids cards portrayed South Korea's top most KPop band as BTS Bruiser. The card showed seven members of BTS as injured and bandaged caricatures from the game of Whac-Amole. However, the other cards designed by the company do not show artists in injured or battered form. Fans have termed it as Asian hate and demanded an apology from the company while trending #StopAsianHate.
The cards were released on social media at a time when the news of 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long was arrested for killing six Asian women in the U.S. Following this, people started trending #StopAsianHate worldwide.
No Violence on Other Cards
People started fighting for BTS under #StopAsianHate because there was a stark difference between the way cards of other artists were designed when compared to BTS. The Garbage Pail Kids cards also included cards on Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Harry Styles along with BTS.
For example, Harry Styles' card shows him being spooked by his now-sentient feather boa. Billie Eilish is seen standing atop a sinking car, but the card does not have any graphics of violence. In the same way, Taylor Swift is shown sliding on a tree with mike in her hand. All these posters do not depict any kind of violence. But when it comes to BTS card, the members are being attacked with a GRAMMYs trophy in a mallet-hitting game.
This led to fans from all over the world criticizing the company for poor portrayal of global stars and termed it as racial violence. Thus, Topps took to social media to announce that they have withdrawn the BTS Bruisers card. The company said that they had not printed the card yet and assured that it will not be printed.
Topps Criticized For Insincere Apology
Topps' apology also drew criticism as the company had said: "We hear and understand our consumers who are upset about the portrayal of BTS in our GPK Shammy 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."
However, fans slammed Topps for not apologizing to BTS. "I'm sorry you got upset is not an apology @Topps. Take real responsibility. Acknowledge the insensitivity & implicit racism in your portrayal of BTS. The lack of accountability & deflection of blame only invalidate the feelings of those hurt & contribute to hate against Asians," tweeted BTS Press. "You missed to acknowledge the part why people are upset?????? This is not an apology. Apologies properly to BTS and Asian Community," and another twitter user.
What is Garbage Pail Kids Card Series?
Reports claim that BTS Bruiser was designed by Chris Meeks, who is has been working as a Garbage Pail Kids illustrator for The Topps Company. Following the row, Meeks deleted his tweet but has not apologized for his work yet.
Garbage Pail Kids is a parody of the virtuous Cabbage Patch Kids. It is a trading sticker card series depicting characters suffering various unpleasant fates. This year, Topps Company released the Garbage Pail Kids cards series based on Grammy-theme and titled it "Shammy Awards."
Billboard was also slammed for sharing these cards. After Topps deleted the BTS Bruiser card, Billboard too followed the suit and deleted the card related to BTS from its links.
Meanwhile, various artistes have raised their voice against shooting of six Asian women in the U.S. Artistes including Chaelin, Margaret Cho, Jeremy Lin, Eugene Lee Yang, Eric Nam have taken to social media express their grief and shock while using the hashtag #StopAsianHate.