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Webtoon ‘Get Schooled’ canceled in US over 'racist' content

Sept. 17, 2023 - 16:34 By Hwang Dong-hee
"Get Schooled" (Naver Webtoon)

Naver Webtoon series “Get Schooled” has been canceled and removed from the platform's US service after the series' allegedly racially discriminatory content sparked controversy.

Naver Webtoon said on Saturday that it had discontinued the series in the US, and the English edition is currently unavailable.

On the Korean platform, the latest episode in question has been deleted and the webtoon series has been suspended indefinitely.

“The racist content has been removed from our platform. The series has been canceled and will not be returning in the US. It has also been suspended indefinitely from the Korean platform, while we conduct an internal review,” Naver Webtoon said on social media.

“It should never have been published and we deeply apologize to anyone who encountered it. Racism or racist content have no place on WEBTOON.”

The action was taken in response to criticisms of the latest episode, Episode 125, which is set in a rural school in Korea.

The narrator, who refers to himself as the only “pure” Korean in his class, faces racism and bullying from a student from a multicultural family. The arrival of a new teacher, who has a Korean mother and an American father, leads to further tension as the bully mocks the teacher, who in turn, confronts him with another charged comment.

The episode was available for paid view in Korean and was scheduled for release in the US approximately two months later, with translations. However, an unauthorized translated version and screen captures of the episode were distributed on social media, igniting controversy, with readers calling the content racist against Asians and Black people.

The series has consistently held the top spot as the most popular work on Naver Webtoon's Monday rankings in Korea, and has been published in seven countries, including the US, France, and Japan, since 2020.