Fans of Korean boy band BTS were all over Twitter last night to demand apology from a Korean reporter who wrote an article that raised doubt on the idol group's win at the Billboard Music Awards last May.
The ARMYs, name of BTS fans, made the hashtag #엑스포츠_전원기자_사과해 (or #Xportsnews_reporter Jeonwon_apologize) the No. 1 trending topic worldwide on Twitter as they poured out their anger against reporter Jeon Won of Xports News, a Korean news site.
It stemmed from a news story Jeon Won wrote for Xports News about the conviction of a CEO of a marketing company who blackmailed Big Hit Entertainment, BTS' agency, and demanded money or he would expose its alleged illegal marketing schemes.
The CEO was sentenced by a Seoul court to one year imprisonment.
In his email to Big Hit, the CEO threatened "I've hacked and obtained documents regarding the illegal marketing you've done for your artists. If you don't send 330 million Won (~$291,000 USD), I'll release the documents to media and distribute it through messaging."
Jeon Won then wrote that "with the accusations of illegal marketing practices, BTS' eligibility for the 'Top Social Artist' award comes to suspicion."
He added, "The winner of the award is determined by the hashtag votes and BTS has received more than 300 million. However, some netizens are now questioning the legitimacy. If the marketing took place with the use of part-time employees (to increase votes), then it'll be fair for BTS to return the trophy." This made fans furious.
"We sacrificed our sleep time and voted nonstop. it's insulting to us and to our boys. they would never do something like that," one fan posted on Twitter.
Another said, "We demand apologies in all languages with your thumbprint & signature on it. Yall did my boys & the agency dirty."
"Millions of ARMYs tweeted/voted a 100 times everyday for them to win. You better not fight me now," according to an ARMY.
Xports News and the reporter have not made any comment regarding the matter.