The Washington Post has run an in-depth analysis on why Korean TV dramas are especially popular among Black American women.
In the Sept.14 article titled "These Black women are obsessed with Korean TV dramas. Here's why," the daily said, "Years before most Americans ever heard of 'Squid Game,' many Black women had turned to Korean scripted television for escapism and comfort."
Mentioning the 14 nominations and six wins of "Squid Game" at the Emmy Awards of the U.S., The Post introduced the opinions of experts who said the secret behind the spread of Hallyu was "the influence of Black and Latina women."
T.K. Park who runs the blog "Ask a Korean," was quoted as saying, "People think that it's Korean Americans who drive the mainstreaming of Korean culture in the U.S., but actually, it's just as much Black women."
On why Black American women love Korean dramas, the report said many of them cited "familiar cultural themes: an emphasis on family, a respect for elders and the central role of food as an expression of love."
Another reason given was "the escapism of watching stories unfold through a non-Western lens through characters who aren't White," with the daily adding, "But the overwhelming majority of women cited the joy of seeing love stories between people of color, devoid of the racial politics and baggage."
As another factor, the report mentioned the way Korean dramas portray how relationships and love can form despite restraint of sexual expression unlike American shows.
On cultural connectivity between Koreans and Black Americans, the article quoted Christine Hye-jin Ko, who co-directed the Korean TV drama "Law School," as saying, "There is also the pervasive undercurrent of han (a deeply ingrained sense of sorrow, grief or rage) that Koreans attribute to centuries of invasion, oppression and suffering that she (Ko) said Black women may find relatable."