A British influencer faced fiery criticisms online for claiming to ‘identify as Korean,’ and for getting multiple surgeries to look like a member of BTS.
Oli London, from the UK, has reportedly undergone more than 15 cosmetic procedures since 2013 in an effort to look like a Korean.
In a recent video on YouTube, London said that they identified themselves as non-binary and Korean, asking their followers to use the pronouns they, them, Korean, and Jimin.
“I do identify as Korean,” London said in the video. “This is my choice, my decision. It’s not hurting anyone.”
On his Twitter account, London asserted their pronoun choice by posting a photo of a modified version of the South Korean flag.
The modified flag is rainbow-colored, and London said they would also use the pronouns ‘Korean.’
London’s social media posts have attracted heavy criticisms, with the influencer being accused of disrespecting the Korean culture, racism, and invalidating those people who identify themselves with non-binary pronouns.
“You may fetishize Koreans but you’ll never be a Korean,” one person commented.
“Kinda makes us neopronoun users look a bit like a joke and I feel quite invalidated ngl,’ another person added, referring to the use of Ze/Zir as non-traditional pronouns indicating gender neutrality.
“Idc if they’re nonbinary, doesn’t change the fact that they’re a white person pulling this stupid s**t,” another person commented.
In an email statement sent to The Daily Dot, London’s manager denied their decision to identify a different race as offensive.
“Besides from identifying as gender fluid and nonbinary for the past several years, Oli has also felt strongly attached to Korea and the Korean culture and feels much more connected to this than [their] own culture,” their manager wrote in the statement.
London also responded to the backlash to themselves in a YouTube video, saying those people saying they couldn’t identify as Korean were just ‘disguising their homophobia.’
“The only people that need to be canceled [are] the woke people… because they are so dangerous to freedom of speech in society,” London said.
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