BTS becomes the first K-pop act to perform on Saturday Night Live — but the joke's on host, actress Emma Stone

BTS becomes the first K-pop act to perform on Saturday Night Live — but the joke's on host, actress Emma Stone

Global phenomenon

Text: Aravin Sandran

On 13 March, Saturday Night Live (SNL) took to Twitter and Instagram to announce that Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone will be hosting alongside musical guests Korean megastars BTS on 13 April. (Almost equally exciting, actress Sandra Oh will be hosting on 30 March with Tame Impala.) The news is yet another milestone for the K-pop group as it will become the first Korean act to grace the late-night variety show's stage since its inception in 1975. They will perform just one day after dropping their forthcoming album, Map of the Soul: Persona on 12 April. 


The news follows an awesome year for them: addressing the UN General Assembly on youth issues, dropping a collab with rap queen Nicki Minaj, surpassing 1 billion streams on Apple Music among other impressive credentials.

However, the spotlight isn't only BTS. Upon discovering the coincidence of Sandra Oh's hosting gig, fans have been quick to point out on social media that Stone has had a troubling history with whitewashing. In 2015, she starred in Cameron Crowe's rom-com Aloha as Allison Ng, who was characterised as being of Hawaiian, Chinese and Swedish descent. Stone was flagged for not being even the slightest bit close to that mix of ethnicity; she was born in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was rightfully called out by Oh when she hosted this year's Golden Globes in January. Stone did apologise from the audience, shouting out "I'm sorry" during the live broadcast. 

Stone is, in fact, a fan of K-pop. During an appearance on the Conan show in 2015, she revealed that she was obsessed with Korean pop music. She described it as "beyond excellent" and "addictive", before name-dropping 2NE1's "I Am The Best" and Girls' Generation. 

It's going to be fascinating to see if Stone will be able to reconcile with her whitewashing history with a self-deprecating skit. Better yet, if BTS will star in any of the comedic segments.

Catch Emma Stone on hosting duties alongside musical guests BTS on Saturday Night Live on 13 April.