WINNER’s Mino and iKON’s Bobby are under fire for a recently released behind-the-scenes video that shows them impersonating a stereotype of “black gangsters” with Mino saying the N-Word.
The video in question was released by YG Entertainment for Mino and Bobby’s project group, THE MOBB and their Japanese debut. The skit shows Bobby pointing a gun sideways at Mino telling him to “Drop the gun on the ground”. In response, Mino says, “Man, N——”.
Watch the video in question below (at 0:07):
Below is the transcript of the conversation from the video, using a combination of the English words said in the video and the Japanese subtitles. The moment where Mino uses the N-Word is not subtitled in Japanese.
Bobby: Hey, put your hands up. Drop the gun on the ground.
Mino: Man, N*gga.
Bobby: Drop the gun on the ground. I said drop the gun on the ground.
Mino: Hold Up Hold Up Hold Up
Bobby: Aite, turn around, turn around.
Mino: I have no money
Mino:I ain’t got no money, man.
Bobby: Follow me [Say This], “I am stupid” [In Korean]
Bobby: I’m serious, man.
Mino: I am stupid. [In Korean]
Bobby: Louder man, louder
Mino: I am stupid. [In Korean]
Bobby: Stay right here.
While fans are questioning whether or not Mino really did say the N-Word, explanations that are being given seem unlikely considering the context. It does not appear that Mino is saying, “Ne Ne” or “Man Man” or even “Ehh Ne” as some fans are arguing. It’s hard to argue that Mino does not say the hard “ga” at the end of his sentence. The video shows Mino saying two distinctly different words and he does not repeat the same word twice or three times, as argued for the explanation “Ne Ne Ne”.
Below is a looped version of the exact time Mino says the controversial line:
here’s mino saying the n word bc y’all refuse to believe me “damn n****” pic.twitter.com/4g9sQ8jtEi
— ™ (@aomghq) December 31, 2016
The last explanation that some fans are giving is that Mino is using saying the word, “You” in Korean which is “Ni [니]” followed by “Ga [가]”. This is often the common explanation that is given when Korean celebrities and Korean people in general are accused of using the N-Word.
Often at times, it’s the correct explanation and they had absolutely no intention of using the N-Word. However, this explanation falls flat in the context of this video and the obvious portrayal of ‘black gangsters’ that Mino and Bobby are playing.
The word “니가” in Korean is always followed by a sentence for it to make sense. It is never used alone.
Even if Mino was using the word “니가” instead of the “N-Word” it would be irregular in Korean to say “Ehh 니가” or “Damn 니가” unless it was an attempt to use the N-Word and not technically use it.
The last argument being used is that Mino is speaking Korean because he’s not comfortable with English. However, in the video, he uses English multiple times. The entire scene is scripted as if they are English speaking ‘gangsters’.
While their self-titled album was originally released in Korea on September 8, 2016, without the questionable skit. The album was then released in Japan on December 28, 2016, as their official Japanese debut with a DVD packaged together with the album.
The scene where Mino says the ‘N-Word’ and Bobby is seen participating in a questionable skit is part of the video titled, “ブンビョ (FULL HOUSE) (BEHIND THE SCENES)”.
This is not the same video that was released by YG Entertainment with the original music video for the track, also labeled as ‘behind-the-scenes’.
The skit in of itself could also be considered racist, with Bobby and Mino seemingly playing stereotypical “black gangsters”. They are using slang, talking with an accent and portraying a scene where it appears they are “acting black”. Bobby is also holding his gun in a very stereotypical “gangster” way.
The video seems to be in poor taste with the immense amount of gun violence in America that has been making headlines across the world. In the scene, Mino is eventually “locked up” in a make-shift prison.
The defense that Mino did not use the hard “-er” and instead used the slang version of “-ga” is an irrelevant argument that should be immediately dismissed. There is absolutely no excuse for using the N-Word whether it be the “-er” or “-ga” ending.
You absolutely cannot use this word unless you are Black and expect not to receive backlash. There are consequences for using this word and regardless if you personally feel it is okay or not, the universally accepted answer is: “no, it is not okay.”
There may be some African-American or Black individuals who excuse this saying, “I’m not offended by it.” This still does not make it okay. No one individual is able to speak on behalf of an entire race or excuse racism on behalf of an entire race.
YG Entertainment, Mino nor Bobby have clarified the reasons behind their skit or a clear explanation as to what Mino was saying as of publication time.