For the past few years, the Garbage Pail Kids brand has released an annual set of cards in the “Shammy Awards” series, which parodies musicians who appeared at that year’s Grammys ceremony. Topps, the manufacturer of the cards, recently unveiled their 2021 set and quickly came under fire for their BTS card.
The sticker card, titled “BTS Bruisers,” depicts the band members with their heads poking out of whack-a-mole-style holes with a Grammy trophy hovering over their bruised faces. The timing of this reveal is poor considering increased reports of violence against Asian people during the pandemic and yesterday’s shootings in Atlanta, which led to the deaths of six Asian women.
Topps offered an apology, saying they had not yet printed the card and no longer plan to. They wrote in a brief statement shared on social media, “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, we have not printed any of the sticker card and it will not be available.”
BTS fans were understandably upset and one summed up the situation, “The caricature version for the other artists seems cute and child-like, while the one for BTS depicts them as beaten, bruised with the look of fear on their face. @Topps you’re supporting the hate against Asians, this is not even qualified as a garbage humor, this is hateful.”
The caricature version for the other artists seems cute and child-like, while the one for BTS depicts them as beaten, bruised with the look of fear on their face. @Topps you're supporting the hate against Asians, this is not even qualified as a garbage humor, this is hateful. pic.twitter.com/foOvLnhoA9
— Dita ᴮᴱ⁷ (@almostdita) March 17, 2021
BTS, meanwhile, didn’t come away with any Grammy wins this past weekend, but just their nomination was a victory.