Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

Why People Are So Angry at Stray Kids’ Met Gala Treatment

Updated Published
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

The first Monday of May is an exciting day for fashion lovers around the world. On Monday, May 6th, 2024, the annual Met Gala, a fundraising fashion show by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, was hosted with the theme “Garden of Time.” Among the attendees were notable names such as Jennie of Blackpink, Zendaya, and many more. The Met Gala is a place where fashion designers and celebrities alike can showcase their fashion forward thinking, capturing the year’s theme with the most spunk. 

For the first year of their six-year long career, Billboard 200 charting artist Stray Kids attended the Met Gala as global ambassadors for Tommy Hilfiger. This night was massive for them and their fans, as they are the first entire K-pop group to be invited to the Met Gala. All eight members—Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N—walked the carpet. 

However, the night was marred for fans when a group of photographers were overheard on video footage from the event spreading hateful and racially charged remarks at the group. Photographers commented on their “emotionless” faces, screamed Japanese words at them, asked how to say “jump” in Korean, and stated that they’d be mistaken for another group after they removed their jackets. This adds to the stereotype that East Asian faces are difficult to recognize, and to the stigma that all Asian people speak the same language and can’t learn English. For reference, two members of Stray Kids are native English speakers from Australia, and the other six members are at least conversational in the language, with Han and Seungmin being fluent in English as their second language. 

It is unclear whether Stray Kids members heard these remarks from their spot on the carpet, but fan reactions made the video clips viral the same day. Many people, fans and non-fans alike, condemned the photographer’s actions in viral posts on X, saying things like “this is pure racism and unprofessionalism,” or calling the photographers “obnoxious.” There have been petitions demanding public apologies from the photographers, as well as fans identifying certain photographers from the videos and demanding an apology on their Instagram profiles. 

Afterward, leader and eldest member, Bang Chan, posted on a fan messaging service, “Had such a great time because everyone treated us so respectfully” along with a smiling emoji. Many fans interpret this to be a response to the disrespect heard in the red carpet videos. It is worth noting that most K-pop groups are not allowed to share their true opinions on public matters due to the risk of controversy, so if the Stray Kids members are upset at their treatment, they may be unable to comment more directly. 

Despite this mishap, Stray Kids are preparing for an album comeback in June, as well as music festival performances such as Lollapalooza on August 2nd, 2024. Stay tuned for their future endeavors!

A fourth year English undergrad with enough bursts of sporadic, random knowledge to write intriguing articles! Self-published author of "Decima Unwritten," a short story depicting young lovers in Pompeii before the eruption, under the nom de plume NJ Standley. Frequent poetry and song writer, as well as beginning music producer. You can find me on YouTube (and probably every other social media ever). Born in the Valley, on a Navy base in Lemoore, CA. However, I have since moved over a dozen times, throughout CA, OR, MD, and CT. Most of middle and high school was spent in Sonoma, California, though my family recently relocated to Santa Rosa. Go bay area! I would love to travel outside of the United States, as well, and I am (slowly) learning Japanese and Greek! I am obsessed with food, wellness, literature, music, dance, cats...and it would be easier to list what I am not obsessed with, so I will stop there! Frequent visitor of Trader Joes, Kpop enthusiast, and kitten mom to my beautiful three-month old Calico, Mochi. Beginning to dabble in astrology. (If that strikes your fancy: I am a Sagittarius, Mochi is a Cancer). INFJ. I’m super bubbly, but also incredibly introverted. As Lana del Rey would say, “I contain multitudes.” Huzzah.