Okay, I was away from tumblr for a while and I didn’t know that there was a controversy.
I’m not overly familiar with the subject because in both the countries that I lived in (Korea and Canada), I have never even come across the term “blackface” — please do correct me if I’m wrong but this seems to be a mainly American subject. So when people say “he knows better”, I don’t think that’s necessarily fair and that he probably has no idea that it’s offensive to some people. You can’t expect a Korean man who has lived in Korea all his life and speaks minimal English to be educated in all realms of American culture.
As for the fact that Ryeowook made his DP on twitter, he obviously also doesn’t know that it offends people, and is trying to honour his hyung who wasn’t able to be with them at the airport.
I’m not asking people not to be offended, if you are, then I apologize on his behalf and for the ignorance of all Korean people on the subject. but you also need to take into context what the person’s intentions are and how much they know. I just checked and to this moment, there is complete peace among K-fans and no one even knows that there is controversy, so that should give you some clues.
There are some things that Korean people find offensive, such as throwing your underwear up on stage, but I-elf did it without knowing that it’s offensive. SJ doesn’t expect you to know Korean culture, and so is it really reasonable to expect them to know American culture? I think that’s a question worth asking to yourself.