Babi means “pig” in Malay and can be considered a derogatory term. Malaysians filled the comments section on the dancer’s Instagram account, saying things like she is the “prettiest pig in the world”. Some people urged her to change the stage name, saying that, in Malaysia, “babi” is a curse word.
Babi, whose real name is So-young, responded to the comments by saying that she was not interested in Malaysia nor its language and that she was turned off by the rudeness of the comments.
“Why are you doing this to me? Just because my name is your laughing stock? Are you having fun with this? I am not interested in your language, so it doesn’t matter what my name means in your language. And I didn’t know your country, but I don’t want to know it any more,” she said.
The star added that she would report and block anyone who continued to make fun of her on Instagram.
Malaysian K-pop fans said that they were embarrassed over their countrymen for bullying Babi because of her name.
“These ignorant people have no idea that the word ‘babi’ doesn’t only exist in the Malay language,” someone tweeted. Another person condemned Malaysians for smearing their country’s image by imposing the meaning of their language onto a foreigner’s name.
After the incident, Babi removed the Instagram post and disabled and limited comments on her Instagram account.
This isn’t the first time Malaysian netizens have bullied a celebrity for using the word “babi”.
Singer Dua Lipa wished her father a happy birthday on Instagram, saying: “Happy Birthday, Babi.” She had to change it to “Happy Birthday Dad,” after being harassed in the comments section. /TISG