TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Canadian rapper based in Taiwan on Tuesday (June 16) released a rap video excoriating a trio of popular Taiwanese YouTubers for appearing again in blackface after taking down a video of another, similar incident.
Despite ongoing protests in the U.S. over racial injustice and a local Black Lives Matter rally over the weekend, Wackyboys, a group of YouTubers with 1.45 million subscribers, on Monday (June 15) posted a new video showing them applying brown and black makeup to their faces before going out and performing the coffin dance on the streets of Taipei again. One hour after the video was posted on Instagram, Quincy Davis III, an African-American basketball player and naturalized Taiwanese citizen playing in the Super Basketball League, harshly criticized the post.
That same day at 10 p.m., a 31-year-old rapper who goes by the stage name Dallas Waldo (阿龍) on Facebook posted a response to the latest Wackyboys video in both Mandarin and English and included the video of a song he had penned in response to their latest blackface stunt. The video, titled "F*ck The Wackyboys [Say No To Blackface]" and produced by Angel La Ciencia, was also posted on YouTube that day.
In his post, Waldo pointed out that the Wackyboys had in late May posted videos and photos of themselves performing the Ghanian coffin dance wearing blackface makeup. In response to a backlash among netizens, Waldo noted that the trio had taken down the offending footage but had not issued an official apology.
He wrote that he was disappointed to see that two weeks later, the group had yet again dressed in blackface to perform on the streets of Taipei. The rapper called on the group to "remove the video, apologize, and lead by example in Taiwan."
Waldo wrote that some members of the foreign community are in the midst of preparing educational material to inform the public about the negative history of blackface and why it should not be condoned anywhere in the world. He stated that since the materials were not yet ready to be released and the comedians continue to deny any wrongdoing, he had released the rap video in an attempt to draw their attention to the issue.
As he mentions in his song, the rapper said the video was also created on behalf of foreigners who cannot speak Chinese or do not have a platform to express themselves. Waldo claimed that the trio's portrayal of black people has made foreigners feel angry and "helpless."
He then chastised the comedians for embarrassing Taiwan with their antics. He lamented that entertainers with such a large following could be so "tone deaf" amid global protests against racism.
Waldo admonished the Wackyboys that they would eventually realize they are "on the wrong side of history." He explained that the longer they insist on ignoring the facts about their racist portrayal, the "worse things will be for you in the future."
The hip hop musician acknowledged that there are cultural differences between Taiwan and the West and that blackface does not have an engrained history in the country. He indicated that Westerners were willing to forgive them when they first wore black makeup, as they may not have been informed about the historic context of the practice.
However, he emphasized that "We live in a globalized world in 2020" and said the fact that Taiwan does not have a history of blackface does not validate their actions. Waldo concluded by urging the entertainers to delete the video, apologize, and "give black people in Taiwan and across the world the respect they deserve."
Waldo told Taiwan News that he created the video because it seemed as though the Wackyboys "intentionally and knowingly put out an offensive video." He said that the fact that they released a new video after receiving so many complaints about the previous one was a "real smack in the face that says 'so what? What are you going to do about it?'"
Regarding the educational materials, Waldo said that he and other members of the foreign community are coordinating with prominent Taiwanese YouTubers on developing content. He said that they are working on videos that will explain the cultural context of blackface to Taiwanese audiences, but a timeline for their release has not yet been set.
Wackyboys have yet to respond to a request for comment on the incident from Taiwan News. Caution: The following video contains obscene language and gestures and is not safe for work.