BTS just accepted their Van Fleet Award and gave a speech that is sure to inspire many, but Chinese netizens think that BTS was being disrespectful to their own people.
RM‘s part of the speech referred to 2020 being the 70 year anniversary of the Korean War, and honored those who sacrificed their lives to help South Korea separate from North Korea.
This year’s Korea Society 2020 Annual Gala is especially meaningful as this year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together, and the sacrifices of countless men and women. After seventy years, the world we are living in is much closer than before, and boundaries and many aspects are getting more blurry than before.
As members of the global community, we should build deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together. In pursuit of this cause, BTS will always remind ourselves of the meaning of the Van Fleet Award and keep doing our best in all that we do. Thank you very much.
Many Chinese netizens have taken exception to RM’s statement however as China also lost hundreds of thousands of its own citizens to the war but were left out of RM’s speech.
We CHINESE lost 200,000 of our compatriots in that war
When you were 28 years old, you were making Chinese money
— yeanshi (@sunwoo_sunset) October 11, 2020
South Korean boy band #BTS is strongly condemned on #China's social media for their speech after receiving James A. Van Fleet Award. Chinese netizens said the band's totally one-sided attitude to the #KoreanWar hurts their feelings and negates history. pic.twitter.com/NaycIBzJwH
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 11, 2020
While it’s impossible to know the exact reason RM left them out of his speech, the potential reasons are myriad and range from the fact that China had allied itself with North Korea (and is indeed still allied with them) to the simple fact that the award they were accepting was explicitly for contributing to US-Korea relations and had nothing to do with China.
Nevertheless, Chinese ARMY are now being targeted by Chinese netizens for RM’s portion of BTS’s speech, given how sensitive of a topic the Korean War is within China.
Big hit, did you see it? C-ARMYs are now being scolded to death. Just because of your big hit, can the award speech prepared for artists go over your head? Whose heart do you think you are breaking?#MapOfTheSoulOne_D2
— 上头了 (@MtIuyxr17r0D8tb) October 11, 2020
@bts_bighit Are you giving up the Chinese market? The Korean War is a very sensitive topic for us,Chinese army is having a hard time now.😭😭
— Nine (@jiujin123) October 11, 2020
Other Chinese ARMY are upset as RM’s portion of the speech is affecting the entire group, with other members being affected by the speech despite not having a say in the script.
#BTS #KIMTAEHYUNG #KimNamjoon As for RM being involved in political issues, I can't stand being a Chinese. Now many Chinese fans have taken BTS off the fan list.This involved Taehyung,who clearly said nothing and did nothing. I want your company to give an apology
— 🍓ice gold🍓 (@mianie20) October 11, 2020
Currently on Weibo, China’s largest social media platform, one of the popular realtime search terms is “BTS insults the Chinese”.
Netizens are expressing their displeasure towards BTS in the comments section of BTS posts as well, with many comments receiving tens of thousands of likes.
- “China sacrificed 360,000 soldiers”
- “Get out of China”
- “Why are idols revealing their political stance publicly…”
- “Didn’t these fans feel amazing when they were insulting other celebrities? It turns out that the idols they stan are people who insult the Chinese
- “Leave. BTS is dead”
- “This related content recommendation makes me sad. Don’t stop the hallyu ban.” (The content talks about someone that helped the Chinese assist North Korea in the Korean War and the hardships they went through)
- “Fans should pay $250 and renounce their Chinese nationality before defending them. Don’t forget which country you’re from just because you’re idolizing celebrities.”
Big Hit Entertainment has yet to make an official statement on the matter.