K-pop group BTS gave speech at UN headquarters in New York on September 24, 2018, as part of the Generation Unlimited launch, a new UNICEF agenda for youth. (Kim Jung-hyo via Hankyoreh)

K-Pop: BTS Fans Angry Over Racist Comment, Australian TV Show Apologizes

An Australian TV channel has issued an apology to South Korean boyband BTS fans after hosts in one of its TV shows accused of having racist and xenophobic comments toward the current world most famous boyband.

BTS, who broke numerous records and played at the Wembley Stadium in London recently, was ranked as number 18 in Nine Network’s pop culture show ‘20 to One’. The show’s segment ran a countdown on Greatest Global Crazes that featured BTS on Wednesday night (6/19), where the host Erin Molan called them as the biggest band people have never heard of and South Korean One Direction. She also commented on the boyband members’ ability in speaking English despite being number 1 in the US. “Impressive because only one actually speaks English”, she said.

In addition, Nick Cody who also hosted the show quipped that the K-pop stars were talking about hair products when they spoke at the UN General Assembly. British comedian Jimmy Carr’s comment was included in the segment saying he was worried the first time he heard ‘something’ from Korea had exploded in the US. The hosts also made jokes about the group’s names and singing ability.

The comments obviously had sparked the anger of passionate BTS fans, known as the ARMY, who responded to this by condemning the comments as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘racist’, and some even demanding an apology or legal action. They also trended the hashtag #channel9apologize among Australian Twitter users on Thursday (6/20).

The controversy prompted Nine Network to issue an apology for anyone who had been offended, stating the humor in last night’s episode was intended to highlight the popularity of the boyband—since the show is a light-hearted entertainment program.

In early June, BTS made history by having their two nights’ performances tickets at London’s Wembley Stadium sold out to the crowds. The extremely passionate fans are often credited for significantly contributing to BTS’s international recognition.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/20/australia/nine-bts-apology-intl-hnk/index.html