If and when we mention pop-culture, BTS is among the top five things that comes to our mind. The boy band has grown over time and how. They are now considered among the most popular bands in the world for a lot of reasons, their songs being the top one, of course. And, there’s no doubt that they are immensely loved by the ARMY.
But, with great power comes great responsibility. And, there can be times that even our favourite celebrities end up making mistakes or receiving criticism – give that they too, are humans like us.
Here are some controversies associated with the boy band:
1. Jimin’s t-shirt
Jimin once sported a t-shirt which was considered controversial, given that it supposedly supported the bombing at Hiroshima. The t-shirt featured Korean independence slogans which were frowned upon by Japanese nationalists. This controversy even led to the cancelling of their shows at a TV show in Japan.
2. When RM was accused of plagirism.
In 2015, the member of the band was accused of plagiarism by some Twitter handles. They pointed that he used lines in the songs that were actually written by them and that he claimed them as his own. However, RM accepted these allegations and made an apology, mentioning that he takes inspiration for writing from books, movies and even interviews.
안녕하세요. 방탄소년단 랩몬스터입니다. 저는 MAMA를 위해 홍콩에 와 있습니다. 오늘 방탄소년단에게는 무척 중요한 날이지만 이 일 또한 정말 중요하고 반드시 제가 직접 말씀드릴 일이라 생각돼 글을… https://t.co/R9S3GiDfn8— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) December 2, 2015
3. War of Hormone met criticism.
BTS’ song, War of Hormone received backlash for being misogynist. This happened in 2014, when people pointed out that the lyrics of the song objectified women. They read – “Girls are like an equation/us guys just do them (yup) /Imma give it to you girl right now/A woman is the best present.” Since then, the band has tried to be more sensitive and aware of their writing.
4. When fans spotted a condom in Jin’s room.
In 2014, Jin shared an image from this dorm room of him eating food that he had cooked. Soon, people spotted a box of condoms in the image, and this turned into a controversy. Some even viewed it negatively, which led to rumours. Later, Big Hit Entertainment came forward to clarify that it was actually a box of condoms that a fan had gifted Jin.
5. Backlash from Chinese fans.
In October 2020, the band leader RM gave a speech at the Van Fleet Awards. He talked about the band’s indirect contribution in making the Korea-USA relationship better. As a result, many Chinese fans pointed that this was disrespectful of the sacrifices made by their soldiers during war. Many websites even removed content related to BTS.
6. Death threats to RM.
In an Australian interview, RM made a controversial statement saying that, when he first met V and J-Hope, he couldn’t see them because they were ‘too black’. This was considered racist and hence received a lot of criticism. In 2015, threats were made against his life, which were reportedly due to his statement at the interview. As a result, the remainder of their US tour was cancelled.
7. When Jungkook was criticized for hampering COVID safety protocols.
In 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak and the safety measures were strict, Jungkook was spotted at an Itaewon club with a group of friends. People were particularly asked to follow social distancing, which is why he received a lot of backlash for the irresponsible action.
8. Accusation of manipulating charts.
BTS has been creating quite a stir for a long time now – their fan following is enough proof of it. But, after the release of their song I Need U, the band was accused of manipulating charts using illegal and unethical methods. The band outsold and the controversy died down soon, given that their popularity was evident.
9. The photograph of V Smoking outside the Grammys venue.
The artist was photographed smoking outside the venue of Grammy Awards 2022. Internet was soon flooded with responses and understandably, the opinions were divided. Some even think that he’s influencing the young audience – that smoking is ‘acceptable’ for them.
It all comes with being under the constant spotlight.