BTS is basking in the glory of the success of its Map Of The Soul ON:E concerts, winning praise from all over the world except China. Along with thousands of fans, FILA and Samsung China have expressed anger against BTS' James A. Van Fleet Award acceptance speech and have vowed to cut ties with the top Kpop group, reported Koreaboo news website.
Fans have slammed BTS on China's number 1 social media platform Weibo, stating that the Kpop group has disrespected its own people by praising the US and putting down China. The controversy ensued after BTS released its acceptance speech, where RM spoke of Korean War that paved way for separation of South Korea from North Korea.
The Controversial Acceptance Speech
RM appreciated the US for its contributions to free South Korea, indirectly offending China, which sided with North Korea during the war. "This year's Korea Society 2020 Annual Gala is especially meaningful as this year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together, and the sacrifices of countless men and women," said RM.
"After seventy years, the world we are living in is much closer than before, and boundaries and many aspects are getting more blurry than before. As members of the global community, we should build deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together. In pursuit of this cause, BTS will always remind ourselves of the meaning of the Van Fleet Award and keep doing our best in all that we do," said RM in his speech.
Samsung, FILA Take Action
Though there was no direct reference to China adding to the pain of South Korean people by supporting North Korea, fans interpreted it as disrespect to the hundreds of thousands of Chinese lives lost during the Korean War. Following the controversy, Samsung bloggers on Weibo found out that Samsung China has taken down BTS-related products including Galaxy S20+ that was advertised by the Kpop group from its official website. It is also said to be taking down all products related to BTS from the website.
Bloggers also stated that FILA China has removed BTS-related content from its official Weibo page. In fact, FILA's announcement of BTS' endorsement has also been deleted. The top search on Weibo is "BTS insults China." Fans are demanding an apology and some have posted comments like, "BTS is over." "We CHINESE lost 200,000 of our compatriots in that war. When you were 28 years old, you were making Chinese money. When Chairman Mao's son was 28 years old, he stayed in that war forever. If you don't know about the history, please SHUT UP," wrote an angry netizen on Twitter.
However, BTS and its agency Big Hit Entertainment are yet to respond to the controversy. BTS gave its James A. Van Fleet Award acceptance speech on October 9. Watch the speech here: