Trading Card Company Pulls Battered BTS Caricature Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

Trading Card Company Pulls Battered BTS Caricature Amid Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

Topps has pulled a trading card depicting a bruised and beaten BTS.

On the heels of the 2021 Grammys this past weekend, the company revealed their "Shammy Awards" Garbage Pail Kids sticker collection, which featured satirical drawings of big-name performers like Harry Styles and Billie Eilish.

Amongst the cards was an illustration of BTS being battered with a Grammy Award in a game of Whac-a-Mole. However, the collection was also released on the same day that eight people — six of whom were Asian women — were murdered in Georgia spa businesses, prompting many to criticize Topps' decision to release an image of battered Asian men amidst a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes.

"Just learned about the disgusting caricature Topps made of BTS," as USA Today's Fatima Farha tweeted. "That is not satire. It's downright racist. For anyone trying to brush it off as comedic, depicting violence like that toward an Asian group during these times is hateful & dangerous. what in the world."

As a result, Topps issued a statement on Wednesday, writing, "We hear and understand our consumers who are upset about the portrayal of BTS in our GPK Shammy Awards product and we apologize for including it."

"We have removed the BTS sticker card from the set," the company continued. "We have not printed any of the sticker card and it will not be available."

That said, Topps' so-called apology was quickly derided by BTS fans and members of the Asian community for its failure to truly engage with the issue at hand, with many saying that the statement sounded similar to the "'I'm sorry you got upset'" non-apology.

"It seems you don't understand the implications of these cards," as one commenter wrote. "This isn't about a fandom or a band. This is about your choice to depict violence against Asian men under the guise of satire, in spite of recent attacks on members of the Asian community. That is the issue at stake."

Meanwhile, others echoed this sentiment by calling on Topps to directly acknowledge the "racist undertones" of the image and "the fact that only for the POC group did you portray the caricatures as having violence against them."

"Twisting this anger as being about the inclusion of a portrayal instead of the portrayal being, at worst, overtly racist and, at best, boneheadedly tone-deaf in a time marred by anti-asian attacks is really not the apology you think it is," a third person wrote, while another added, "This isn't just about BTS. Apologize to the entire Asian community."

Topps has yet to address the criticism of their statement. Read what else people are saying about the card, below.

Photo via Getty