K-Pop Superstars BTS Omit U.S. While Decrying World's Anti-Asian Racism

Korean pop band BTS struck out Tuesday against racial discrimination and violence towards Asian people in a general note that did not identify America or any other country as a particular culprit.

Issuing a plea on social media with the tags #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate, the South Korean septet – comprising RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook – recalled moments when they faced “discrimination as Asians,” without specifying.


— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021

The group did not refer to any particular act of anti-Asian discrimination but it did follow an incident last month in which a Bavarian radio station was forced to apologize for a host’s comments comparing BTS to the Chinese coronavirus, saying his choice of words had gone too far but was in no way meant to be “hurtful or racist,” as Breitbart News reported.

The uproar came after a live show in which the host derided BTS’s version of “Fix You” as “blasphemy” and compared the band to the Chinese coronavirus, describing them as “some crappy virus that hopefully there will be a vaccine for soon as well.”

The band has also been noted for its donations to causes espousing anti-racism agendas.

Korean pop giants BTS and their fans to donate mover $2,000,000.00 to Black Lives Matter. https://t.co/40PRqcLqNd

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 8, 2020

Last year the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claimed Chinese “netizens” had launched a campaign against BTS for remarks praising the relationship between America and South Korea, as Breitbart News reported.

During an award acceptance speech, the band applauded the decades of friendship between the two democratic countries.

“The Korea Society’s 2020 Annual Gala is especially meaningful, as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War,” the band’s lead vocalist, RM, said. “We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women.”

BTS is one of the few acts in a crowded K-pop industry that has managed to break through into major international markets, including the United States.

The K-pop giants, whose output mostly consists of innocuous boy-band love songs, made history last year as the first South Korean musical group to perform on Saturday Night Live.

They have also received a Grammy nomination and topped Billboard.

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Simon Kent