The agency of Korean boy group BTS has asked stalker fans to refrain from invading the group's privacy as they travel to the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) set on May 21 in Las Vegas.
"As officially announced, BTS has been invited to 2017 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) as one of nominees for Social Artists and the band is preparing to attend the Red Carpet & BBMAs Show in Las Vegas, USA. BTS is expecting great international media spotlights from the moment they depart Incheon as well as when they are in Las Vegas at BBMAs," BigHit Entertainment said in a written statement in Korean, Japanese, English and Chinese.
BigHit made the plea as it noted that "it is our big regret over the recent incidents when a number of fans were flying in the same airlines with BTS by using the information attained illegally, trying to seat near the band, taking pictures of the members and invading privacy constantly, despite restraints by BigHit staff and security guards."
In Korea, they are called "sasaeng" or obssessed fans who stalk celebrities everywhere and invade their homes and private activities. K-pop stars who have experienced nasty incidents with sasaeng fans include Big Bang, EXO, Girls' Generation and Super Junior.
Because of the fans' invasion of privacy, BigHit said it decided to employ more security to protect BTS.
"BigHit Entertainment has taken safety and health of BTS as number one priority and thus has been doing its best to protect BTS members by allocating as many security guards as possible at the airport and inside all the flights," it said.
It said that as a result of the stalking, "BTS members are under great mental and physical stress due to some fans' lack of discretion."
"We hereby ask for your understanding and cooperation to help BTS to successfully and safely finish the intended schedule for BBMAs in the US. Please restrain from using flight booking information illegally attained, taking candid photos, and invading privacy of BTS on the airplane and airports. Your support and encouragement for the band at BBMAs shall be greatly appreciated," the agency told fans.