An Australian TV station has apologized after one of its shows was criticized by BTS fans for being “racist” when British comedian Jimmy Carr made comments comparing the South Korean group’s international success to the explosion of a nuclear bomb.
On Wednesday night, Nine Network’s pop culture show 20 to One featured a countdown on global crazes, and BTS ranked No. 18.
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Hosts Nick Cody and Erin Molan described the group as “the biggest band you’ve never heard of.”
They also mentioned that BTS has a No. 1 single in the United States despite the fact that “only one band member actually speaks English.”
During the segment, Carr said: “When I first heard something Korean had exploded in America, I got worried.”
He added: “So I guess, could have been worse… But not much worse.”
The segment also featured BTS speaking at the United Nations about youth programs, with the hosts joking that their visit had been to speak about “hair products.”
Many BTS fans took to Twitter to criticize the comedian for his “racist” comments. The hashtag #channel9apologise began to trend on Twitter in Australia on Thursday.
“they even spoke at the UN… i’m gonna guess about hair products.” imagine degrading the meaning of namjoons self worth speech to “hair products” based xenophobic & stereotypical assumptions. thats not it. #Channel9Apologise pic.twitter.com/AfLOh7bcmh
— 190622 SEOKJIN— 🧷🎐 (@btsheartthrobss) June 19, 2019
On Thursday, a Nine Network spokesperson issued an apology.
“As a lighthearted entertainment program, it is our belief that last night’s episode of 20 to One, which highlighted the ‘Greatest Global Crazes,’ did not breach any broadcast regulations and was intended to humorously highlight the popularity of the group,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“We apologize to any who may have been offended by last night’s episode.”
Many BTS fans did not agree with the apology and responded to 20 to One’s tweet.
BTS’ latest EP, Map of the Soul: Persona earned the boys their third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 in less than a year — making them the first band to do so since The Beatles, who earned that accolade with their 1995-96 Anthology trilogy.
BTS is breaking non-stop records on a weekly basis and could potentially surpass numbers The Beatles achieved throughout their career.
It’s not only the rapidly increasing success of the Seoul-based group that suggests a modern-day Beatlemania is what’s taking place but their dedicated fans, too.
The Save Me singers are well known for having an extremely loyal fanbase — the BTS Army — who have supported them since the group’s inception in 2013.
Following the success of the group’s hugely successful North American tour in 2018, BTS is expected to make a Canadian comeback at some point in the next year.
BTS has not commented on the comments made by 20 to One as of this writing.
—With files from Adam Wallis