For all his faults – and boy are there many of them – Simon Cowell is pretty damned good at the whole boy band game, having been instrumental in the rise of groups like Westlife and One Direction. However, his latest idea is a step too far in the wrong direction because his new schtick is to essentially make a K-pop group.
In a new video shared on The X-Factor Twitter account, Simon announced a new spin-off reality competition show called X-Factor: The Band, in which he’ll look for the best boy or girl group.
Now that’s fine and all… until he said, “Right now K-pop you could argue is ruling the world. Now it’s time for UK-pop.”
We all know that Simon Cowell’s schtick is to be outspoken and blunt, but this is something else. There are two ways to look at his comment and neither of them are good.
Firstly, UK-pop sounds like he’s trying to cobble together an English-speaking version of a K-pop group (a “pop” group in essence) after seeing a couple of BTS videos on YouTube.
It’s understandable he’ll want to jump on that tsunami – it’s his job after all – but trying to put together a K-pop group consisting of white people is just offensive. It sounds like nothing more than an attempt to whitewash a big part of Korean culture.
The other interpretation of Simon’s announcement is he wants to create a boy or girl group that’ll rival all those successful K-pop groups right now. Competitiveness is expected in the music scene, but labeling his new group “UK-pop” sounds like he’s discrediting K-pop as a genre, which is just ludicrous.
Whether you love or hate K-pop, there’s simply no denying the numbers and influence it’s had pop-culture. You can’t own everything in the pop scene, Simon. And besides, did you suddenly forget the UK’s decades-long dominance of the music scene?
So maybe go back to the drawing board, Simon, because X-Factor: The Band doesn’t sound like a very good idea. Plus there’s already a thing called UK-pop: it’s called “pop”. If you want to ride the K-pop wave, go stan BTS and BLACKPINK or something.