Although BTS has broken many records as a world star group, they have received much criticism and prejudice as Asian artists. YouTuber IDOL CHIEF made his way over to the U.K. to interview several ARMYs on what their thoughts are about BTS and prejudice.
The first questioned asked was, “Why do Western media still disrespect BTS?”
Molly from the U.K. replied, “As I see it, Western artists are threatened by BTS because they are so successful and they are so big and they worked so hard, and it’s changing how the western industry looks at itself. So you don’t get BTS played on the radio and people don’t seem to want to admit that they listen to BTS. I think that it’s an underlying xenophobia thing.”
Cat, another fellow ARMY, replied, “They really don’t listen to BTS’s music so they don’t actually understand what it is that they’re saying or what they’re trying to put across. They are just hearing what other people are saying and that forms a kind of prejudice. Because there’s suddenly been this big explosion, people don’t know how to react to it because it’s different. People are sometimes scared I think of what’s different. BTS especially, due address some sensitive issues, such as mental health, and that is a topic, that although we are becoming more open to, it’s still quite scary to address. And I think people are scared of that.”
“Do you think BTS could overcome the discrimination in the Western world?”
When BTS first came to Europe, the press was so bad everywhere about them. But slowly, as they had many concerts they got to know them better. I think that for some, it’s just a matter of time to get used to this new thing because we’ve never had Korean idols become this popular.
“As an Asian and Filipino, what do you think about racism?”
I watch a lot of dramas and I’ve been following BTS since they debuted. I’ve been listening to K-Pop since I was 8 years old. My fascination with Korean culture, K-Pop, and everything Korean has just grown into this wonderful world inside my head. The prejudices that come with being an Asian star, you’re going to get judged because of the way you look and your skin color. BTS has been prejudged by the Western press because of the stereotypes with Korean culture.
I think the Western media just compare Asian artists to Western artists way too much. And I think you said that K-Pop idols have a formula and that they are to sing songs that are already composed for them as well as choreography to learn and perform, making it seem like they don’t have their own say, looking like puppets. But other Asian countries know that this is not right and that BTS is a very talented group that works really, really hard. The effort they put in as trainees to perform is incredible and lots of western artists don’t put in that much effort. Overall, it’s the lack of knowledge of the West.
Watch the full interview below!