The K-PopJustice Forum Reader's Poll 2020

Not Buddies all turning into Bullies

Honestly I almost knee-jerk defaulted to GFriend too - not that they’ve ever been less than great, but you can still improve on excellence. The way they steamrolled everyone in their path in 2020… we’re gonna be talking about this for years, girlies. Also helped that it came after a quieter 2019, and how they ramped up the stakes as 2020 went along, so I understand where the win came from.

Luckily I saw sense before submitting and voted for LOONA instead kii

2. NCT
4. (G)I-DLE

For this one we combined all individual song votes cause it just made more sense and YooA SWEEPED deservedly so. Oh My Girl have already been under fire for cultural insensitivity in the past, as most K-Pop groups are, but YooA took a step further in 2020 with her solo debut, Bon Voyage. Musically the song has a tribal element to it which would be pretty innocent if it wasn't combined with the visuals it ended up with. The video was seemingly inspired by varying Studio Ghibli films, but YooA with white markings on her face, turquoise jewelry & a simple nude Pocahontas style two piece were... insensitive to the say the least. She doubles down on this look when the video reaches it's climax, having now painted on black marks on her cheeks, geometric shapes on her fingers and surrounded by wolves. While there is nothing seemingly racist about these looks, there is a lot of... ignorance behind them. And it definitely didn't help that Oh My Girl haven't been the smartest when it comes to cultural sensitivity. But in saying all that.

NCT were under fire this year for their ignorant display with their comeback single Make A Wish (Birthday Song), which had 7 of the 23 boys dancing in a generic Mediterranean/Desi inspired mosque-like building. This was further played upon when their visuals for their performance actually featured a famous mosque. I've seen some conflicting reports, but a lot of people have stated that dancing or performing in front of Islamic holy sites like a mosque is super offensive and just a big no no... So tell me why SM ignored all the criticism and started to see cards & pins of the boys in mosque-like settings? Mess.

MAMAMOO... were doing so good for a while. They got through 2019 relatively safe, they didn't really encroach on anybody's cultures with their comebacks, but 2020 was different. Hwasa in particular saw a lot of criticism for her appearance on a variety show dressed in traditional African garments while imitating a famous Korean comedian... Which is already a whole can of worms. This was driven home even further when Hwasa's dancers appeared on stage with her all wearing durags, something the fans are insisting was a last minute decision made by a problematic stylist... Yeah, sure. The group then released a comeback in November titled AYA, which was heavily Mediterranean inspired. In fact, their performance at an end of year show was titled "Agrabah version", which is the fictional land where Aladdin lives, so I guess technically they aren't appropriating a real culture!

Poor (G)I-DLE still got a few mentions, most likely because Soyeon literally invented Ethnic Hip. They kept it pretty cute in 2020, and their first comeback of 2021 with HWAA is very Chinese inspired, but I think it's done quite gracefully, especially since they have Chinese members. So kudos to them! Keep up the good work!​


In no particular order, our next reveals will be:​

Your Favourite Moment In The Sub-Forum This Year
Best K-Pop Slasher Moment
Best Comeback That Isn't Popular Enough To Win Best Comeback
Best B-Side That Isn't Popular Enough To Win Best B-Side
Most Overrated Song
Most Overrated Video

Any guesses for the winners in these categories?