A french radio station, RTL, is currently receiving severe criticism online for its racially charged comments made at BTS and Morgan Freeman.
The hosts on air were supposedly talking about the FIFA World Cup 2022 opening ceremony. While Morgan Freeman kicked off the ceremony with his narration of the opening segment, titled “The Calling,” BTS member Jungkook performed the official World Cup soundtrack for this year, “Dreamers.”
— Emma Hery (@EmmaHery1) November 21, 2022
According to French-speaking ARMYs, one of the hosts, Philip Caveriviere, made crude comments about BTS and Freeman. He referred to BTS as “a group of Korean virgins” and continued to make homophobic comments at them. Later he was also heard calling Freeman “Nelson Mandela” with a mocking tone.
calling him "Nelson Mandela". The disrespect for poc…
— elo, 🌊, fifakoo (@btsbIueprint_) November 21, 2022
French fans explained that the phrase “virgins” was used to specifically denigrate the gender and sexuality of the BTS members, implying that they are not “real men.”
Note that virgins here is not used as virgins in the sense of they never had s3x ,it’s to denigrate their gender and sexuality making it racist and homophobic https://t.co/LiO5s0Oi88
— Fay (@taesids) November 21, 2022
ARMYs are both in shock and enraged at the blatant racism, homophobia, and outright disrespect the hosts on air have shown to two of the most prominent POC artists at the FIFA opening ceremony.
Racism is not a f joke I can't believe in 2022 and we still see mf publicly shaming & calling BTS names & have audacity of labeling it as"joke"that French radio dude in there need to get fired from that job,calling BTS names & making racist comments after JK performance & toward+
— ikram⁷⟭⟬The Astronaut💙 (@bts07ddaeng) November 21, 2022
Despite the backlash, however, no apology has been issued by the radio station or the hosts who made the comments. In fact, Caveriviere apparently tried to diminish the implications of the remarks while replying to an ARMY who had reached out to talk about the disrespectful comments made by them.
if anyone needs it i made a quick translation ! it’s not perfect but it should help to understand
just note that « puceau » is not easy to translate. It means virgin but in a very degrading way, usually an insult for young teenager pic.twitter.com/0NCtTYAMcJ
— 🌊 auяelia⁷ (@pjminia) November 21, 2022
This is not the first time BTS have had to endure such vicious attacks from racist radio hosts. In 2021, Bayern 3’s DJ Matthias Matuschik attacked BTS for no reason, comparing them to COVID-19. ARMYs were enraged, and even mainstream media got involved in calling out Matuschik’s remarks, but the station still gave him a platform, indeed a much smaller one, as he ended up getting “demoted” to host a podcast about local Bavarian music. It remains to be seen if Caveriviere and his co-hosts suffer any consequences for their action or if it will end some other way.