Tony From BTS’s “American Hustle Life” Apologizes For Past Controversy

A friend from BTS’s past has addressed the incident that soured his relationship with ARMY.

An old friend of BTS, Tony Jones, has recently apologized for a past controversy and explained his side of the story.

In 2014, BTS starred in the reality show American Hustle Life, in which they traveled to Los Angeles to learn more about hip-hop and American hip-hop culture. One of BTS’s mentors was rapper Tony Jones (@tony_jones), who now describes himself as a songwriter, clothing designer, and actor on Twitter.

While on the show, Tony formed a sweet and memorable bond with BTS’s members, especially Jimin, whom he nicknamed “Chim Chim”.

Since American Hustle Life concluded filming, BTS and Tony have reunited at least twice. Once was in 2015 during Tony’s trip to Korea.

The second reunion happened in 2016, at a restaurant when BTS was in Los Angeles for KCON.

At first, many fans considered Tony to be part of the BTS family, but the relationship between him and ARMY soured after a “mishandled” fan gathering. Tony was accused of using BTS’s name for clout and taking advantage of fans, following an event he hosted in Los Angeles. Backlash from ARMY led to the event’s cancellation, and Tony’s too.

On February 3, Tony appeared in a FO Squad Kpop video to share behind the scenes stories, and talk about his controversy. He said, “We put together, me and my partner at the time, we put together like a gathering, like a party, like a show, like a vibe, to where everyone would come out and get together and just vibe.”

The name of this gathering led some fans to believe that BTS would be involved in some way.

So, I think I made a mistake in calling it ARMY. ARMY Party. So, I think that was a mistake because people felt like I was trying to piggyback off a certain group, off of them, trying to profit off them and make money off them.

— Tony Jones

Tony explained that he had called his gathering “ARMY Party” not to piggyback off of BTS or ARMY, but because so many of his fans were BTS fans who knew him from American Hustle Life. 

So for me it made sense because they are ARMYs that follow me, that came from that, you know, but I should have just said it’s a party, come out, we gonna vibe, perform this and that.

— Tony Jones

The other issue fans took with the event was that it was not free. Admission packages, varying in price, were charged.

I think a lot of people had issues with charging for ticket prices. That’s where it started. We had different packages, ticket prices, where some were very expensive, but I think what a lot of people didn’t know was, I don’t know how long, I think about a year, my brand had been out at the time. Everyone that purchases higher tickets were getting clothing. You know, T-shirts, hoodies, stuff like that. The highest ticket price was getting an actual leather jacket.

— Tony Jones

“For me, it was unfortunate,” he went on. “That’s why we cancelled it, you know, because we didn’t want anyone to think we had any ill will. It’s always been love and positivity.”

After explaining his side of the story, Tony apologized for how the entire incident was handled.

One thing I do want to say, I apologize. I’m sorry that I handled it that way. It was mishandled. I, we, we just mishandled the situation. We apologize, and I personally apologize, just for everything. I definitely don’t want to hurt anybody, make anybody feel bad.

— Tony Jones

Watch the video here:

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