BTS is facing backlash from Chinese nationalists over comments the boy band’s leader made about the Korean War.
Outrage exploded after Kim Nam-joon — who performs under the stage name RM — acknowledged America and South Korea’s shared “history of pain” in fighting together in the conflict, which began in 1950 but never officially ended.
“We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together, and the sacrifices of countless men and women,” RM said on Oct. 7 while accepting an award for the group’s contribution to US-South Korean relations, BBC News reported.
But the K-pop superstar was ripped for failing to mention the suffering endured by the Chinese — which lost about 180,000 soldiers who fought on North Korea’s side, according to Chinese state media.
About 200,000 South Korean soldiers and 36,000 American soldiers died during the war, which Chinese Community Party propaganda blames on the US.
The fallout in China was swift — advertisements featuring BTS from brands like Samsung, Fila and Hyundai were yanked from a number of Chinese websites and the group’s Weibo accounts, BBC said, though it’s unclear who removed them.
Critics also expressed their disgust on social media.
“They [BTS] should not make any money from China,” one user commented on Weibo. “If you want to make money from Chinese fans you have to consider Chinese feelings.”
Global Times, a nationalistic state-run tabloid, claimed RM’s comments were designed to “play up” to US audiences.
“Chinese netizens said the band’s totally one-sided attitude to the Korean War hurts their feelings and negates history,” the publication wrote.
The seven-member pop sensation has millions of fans across the world — and at least five million fans on Weibo, China’s popular social media platform.
In August, the video for BTS’ single “Dynamite” garnered three million viewers in its debut — the highest number ever for a YouTube video premiere. The video went on to become the most-viewed YouTube clip in 24 hours, with 101.1 million views in a day.
Big Hit Entertainment, the Seoul-based record label behind BTS, is set to go public on Thursday in an initial public offering that’s estimated to value the firm at $4.1 billion.
With Post wires
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