Topps Company Getting heat For Injured “Garbage Pail Kids” Portrayal Of BTS During The “Stop Asian Hate” Movement

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Initially formulated in 1985 as a parody of the virtuous Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids is a trading sticker card sequel that features characters suffering various unpleasant fates. This year, maker the Topps Company is releasing a new  GRAMMY themed Garbage Pail Kids series named the “Shammy Awards” collection—but they’re portraying of BTS is garnering serious objection for racism and insensitivity.

Most of the cards starred in the new 12-sticker collection are relatively tame in design. Harry Styles’s card, for example, shows him being terrified by his now-sentient feather boa.

Billie Eilish’s card has dark undertones as she stands atop a sinking car, but there’s no graphic violence illustrated.

BTS’s sticker card, on the other hand, tells a far varied story. Titled “BTS Bruisers”, the card stars all seven members of the group being barraged with a GRAMMYs trophy in a mallet-hitting game same as Whac-a-Mole. The harsh image shows the members with bruises, bandages, and even broken teeth and stitches with tears on their faces.

Unsurprisingly, ARMYs and non-fans alike were surprised to see how graphically brutal BTS’s Garbage Pail Kids card is. Judging by previews from The Topps Company, none of the other cards in the collection display any visible injuries.

On top of that, the cards are releasing during rising of the “Stop Asian Hate” movement. From March 2020 to February 2021, the Stop AAPI Hate reports that a huge 3,795 racially enraged attacks have been documented against the Asian community in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic is believed to be behind the drastic rise in xenophobia, Sinophobia, and other forms of anti-Asian racism across the country.

Over the past few days, numerous Asian American celebrities have promised to raise attention to the situation and help gather funds to help conserve the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities

Given how the recent situation of racism and violence is only worsening, The Topps Company’s description of BTS is all the more shocking and insensitive. Across social media, fans are saying and urging that the company holds itself accountable and apologizes. The hashtag #RacismIsNotComedy has also been trending on Twitter.

While the Garbage Pail Kids series has always been satirical, its words create impact stating that BTS was the only artist in the “Shammy Awards” series that received such a violent and upsetting portrayal.

The “BTS Bruiser” card’s artist has been specified as Chris Meeks, a long-term Garbage Pail Kids illustrator for The Topps Company. Chris Meeks has since deleted his tweet taking value for the artwork but has not stated on the controversy or issued any apology. For now, it is doubtful whether the artist or the company was the entity credible for the image concept.

Fans have moved together to get in touch with The Topps Company, establishing email campaigns and directly reaching the PR office to find out why and how the harsh design was approved. Serious apologies—both to BTS and to the Asian community—are also expected from the company.

Billboard was also stopped promoting the product via an associate link. Billboard has since deleted sources to BTS in its article but has not taken the post itself down or removed links to the product.

The post from Billboard:

For now, The Topps Company, Billboard, and Big Hit Entertainment are yet to comment on the controversy.

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