Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Twinsters, the reunion of Korean sisters separated at birth

Following up on yesterday's post about SNL Korea's offensive adoptee skit, I'd like to share this "Facebook story" that I really like: "Twinsters".
via facebookstories
About a year ago, I was linked by a friend to a Kickstarter page for a documentary that a Korean adoptee wanted to make... about her newly-discovered twin sister. Thanks to YouTube, Facebook, and the crazy power of social media, she found out that she was one of a pair of girls given up for adoption from Busan in 1987. Her sister was raised in France, while she became American. They reunited, visited each other's adoptive families, toured South Korea, and inspired thousands of people along the way as the story of their reunion unfolded together.

Again: they visited South Korea together (for a Korean adoptee conference). They returned to the land of their birth. As far as I'm aware, they did not reunite with their birth mother or family. Goodness knows if they had, it would not have happened remotely similarly to the crude parody that SNL Korea embarrassed itself with last week.

On that note, SNL Korea has apologized for their skit on Twitter, according to "We bow our heads and sincerely apologize to the Korean adoptees overseas and their families who've been hurt by the skit... Due to the carelessness of the production team, which failed to handle a sensitive matter with the utmost care, we apologize and will get rid of the relevant corner (코너, Konglish for 'feature')." They admitted that they tried satire and failed miserably. Their sad attempt at in-group humor only alienated an already stigmatized and misunderstood section of Korean society. Hence, the apology. Fair enough. I just hope they don't do it again, but honestly, chances are they'll just make the same mistake with a different marginalized group...

Here is a link to the tweet and the full apology in Korean.

Adoption is no joke. I mean, I'm all for finding humor in various family situations, but we must realize that a line has to be drawn somewhere. And really, isn't it ultimately more rewarding to follow a 'feature' like "Twinsters" that explores adoption not through probing, farcical humor but through mystery, surprise, and genuine storytelling?

Anyway, Facebook did some great work with the infinitely more interesting story, and I encourage you to follow the visually-stunning timeline of their intertwined lives. I'm looking forward to watching the documentary when it is released next year.

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