HomePop CultureCalifornia J-pop doxxed after cultural appropriation controversy

California J-pop doxxed after cultural appropriation controversy

A California-based J-pop group called Sorb3t says they’re being doxxed after they were accused of cultural appropriation.

The group posted a TikTok saying, “We were just three girls innocently chasing our dreams and did not want it to come to this. For our safety, we need some time away to heal, but we’ll see you again soon.”

Sorb3t is an American-based Japanese idol group consisting of two white women and one Asian woman. The controversy surrounding began in late May when the group posted a video of their call and responses, something Japanese idols create to engage with their fans and audiences.

In the now-deleted video, Berry, a white woman taught viewers her call and response. When she says “strawberry,” the audience is supposed to respond by saying “blueberry.” In the video, she mimics a Japanese accent when pronouncing the two words and then speaks in Japanese afterwards.

The original video went viral before it was deleted. Many commenters accused the group of cultural appropriation and Asian fishing.

Berry posted an apology video to the group’s TikTok saying that she had brainstormed the call and response with her Japanese boyfriend. She said she decided to use Japanese even though Sorb3t performs in English because when she has her own solo career she will be releasing music exclusively in Japanese.

She claimed that she was pronouncing strawberry and blueberry as they would be pronounced if they were written in katakana. Katakana is a phonetic alphabet often used for foreign words that don’t have a direct Japanese translation.

The Japanese word for “blueberry” is based on the English pronunciation: Burūberī. However, the Japanese word for strawberry is actually “Ichigo.”

Some commenters continued to criticize her for turning Japanese people into “caricatures” and making a Japanese call and response when she is white. Several people also believed she was attempting to use her Japanese boyfriend as an excuse.

However, people also agreed that the group did not deserve to be doxxed.

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