The Korean drama ‘Racket Boys’ was rewarded with a bad rating on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) site. Even the title of the drama, starring Tang Joon-sang, seems to have changed its name to ‘RacketRacist’.
The drama rating was at 2.5 out of 10 when accessed on Saturday (19/6). Apparently the apology from the SBS television station, which produces and broadcasts the drama, was unable to ‘save’ this 16-episode drama.
From the user reviews column, many reviewers seem to give a 1-star rating out of a full 10-star rating. Some of the contents of the comments in the review related to racism and carried the name of Indonesia.
The netizen’s protest started from one of the scenes in episode 5 which was called harassing Indonesia. This episode tells the story of the South Korean badminton team participating in an international event in Indonesia.
A city kid is brought to the countryside by his father’s new coaching gig: reviving a ragtag middle school badminton team on the brink of extinction. A story of a boys’ badminton team at a middle school in Haenam as they grow, both as people and as players.
Yoon Hyun Jong was once a very good badminton player, but now he struggles to make ends meet for his family. Therefore, he jumps at a chance to coach a middle school team, only to find a team on the verge of disbandment with only three players: Bang Yoon Dam, Na Woo Chan, and Lee Yong Tae. The three boys struggle along, improving as Yoon Hae Kang, Yoon Hyun Jong’s son, joins the team along with Jung In Sol. Now having enough players to enter competitions, they try to soar to new heights.
Meanwhile, Ra Young Ja, former top badminton player and Yoon Hyun Jong’s wife, is the coach of the girls’ badminton team at a girl’s middle school in Haenam. On her team are Han Se Yoon, the #1 ranked junior female player in Korea and Lee Han Sol, Se Yoon’s best friend, allowing them to be one of the best teams among their peers.
Here there is a dialogue that is considered to be cornering Indonesia, especially the organizing committee for badminton matches. The players were seen expressing their annoyance while chatting at a restaurant in Jakarta.
“The rooms are terrible. They [the hosts] train in the stadium and we are forced to train in one of the training grounds where there is no air conditioning. That bastard,” said the coach.
“There is one reason. Han Se-yoon [one of South Korea’s main players, played by Lee Jae-in]. They want to beat him at any cost. Don’t worry about Se-yoon. We have found the strategy,” said the coach again.
Inevitably an overflow of disappointment filled SBS’s official Instagram and YouTube accounts. Netizens said it was feared that dialogue with racist nuances about Indonesia could trigger negative opinions and harm Indonesia.
In response to this, SBS has sent an apology via the @sbsnow_insta Instagram account. SBS said that they did not mean to demean certain countries, players or viewers.
“However, we apologize for some scenes that have offended our viewers from Indonesia. We will pay close attention to the next episode,” wrote the SBS side.
However, the aftermath of the episode 5 scene still continues. Drama ratings plummeted plus negative comments from netizens on the IMDb page.
“The worst drama I’ve ever watched, the drama shows racism and insults to other countries,” commented one netizen.
“When I first watched this good drama until it entered episode 5, I stopped watching,” said another netizen.
‘Racket Boys’ itself tells the story of the men’s badminton team at a high school in Haenam. The players in the team are not very good but are determined to advance to become national level players. The drama will start airing on May 31, 2021 on SBS TV and Netflix.
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