Following backlash, Garbage Pail Kids has apologized and removed a sticker card portraying Korean boy band BTS with bruises. The trading card brand issued the apology as Asian-American communities in the U.S. are dealing with a rash of hate crimes.
“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,” The Topps Company, which produces Garbage Pail Kids, tweeted. “We have removed the BTS sticker card from the set, we have not printed any of the sticker cards, and it will not be available.”
The card was part of the 2021 Topps Garbage Pail Kids: The Shammy Awards satirical collectibles, poking fun at artists who won Grammys this year. It made fun of musicians including Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.
The Garbage Pail Kids SHAMMY Awards are back for another year! Featuring your favorite musical talents like Tree-Swift, Stunning STALLION, Buoyant BILLIE and HARRY Boa— Topps (@Topps) March 16, 2021
See the full lineup and collect them here for a limited time: https://t.co/BAx63w26jX pic.twitter.com/SGIj0SpEau
BTS was satirised as “BTS Bruisers” on its card, which portrayed the bandmates’ faces covered in bruises in a game of Whack-A-Mole with the Grammy Award used as a hammer.
However, social media users said that Garbage Pail Kids took it too far with the BTS card, noting that it was particularly in bad taste due to surging hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans.
tw // violence— (@chanelvntes) March 17, 2021
This is clearly a racial attack. Out of all the listed artists, bts, a group of asian people, were named under “bruisers” which signifies violence. what did asians do to ever deserve this kind of treatment from literal privileged racists? pic.twitter.com/X6XrGbWyGo