“BTS is an export”… British newspaper The Times criticizes the Korean idol system that overworks artists

The Times published a feature article on BTS’s hiatus, pointing out the fandom culture and K-idol system in which idols are overworked and given no time for personal life and growth.

On June 17th (local time), The Times put the title BTS, why the world’s biggest boy band split?” on the front page and published an analysis article by an Asian editor who interviewed BTS in 2018.

British newspaper The Times criticizes the Korean idol system

Richard Lloyd Parry, an Asian editor of The Times, said he was surprised by the news of BTS’s hiatus from group activities and recalled the past interview he had with them.

He said, “The life of the K-pop band seemed like a formula for nervous collapse when I interviewed them in Seoul four years ago”, adding, “BTS members had such an abnormal life. They even complained about not having time to meet their family, let alone dating.”


Editor Parry said, “I feel so sorry for BTS”, adding, “They looked sad rather than sexy, and tired rather than flashy”. He then stressed, “They are the most overworked millionaires I’ve ever seen”.


He also mentioned that BTS was under too much pressure, saying “Not only being the pride and symbol of Korea, BTS even bears the national responsibility”, adding, “They were considered a major export and strategic national asset.” This also explains why BTS often gets called to major events at the Blue House, the White House, and the UN General Assembly.

bts moon jae in

In fact, BTS accompanied former President Moon Jae-in as special presidential envoys when he gave his speech at the UN General Assembly in September last year, but the travel expenses for BTS were not paid on time, sparking controversy at that time.

bts moon jae in

Editor Parry also gave a negative prediction on the future of BTS’s agency, HYBE.  He said, “HYBE’s stock price has recently witnessed a sharp fall and it’s not a temporary adjustment. Investors believe that the ‘milk’ from ‘cash cows’ BTS has run dry.”

Source: moneys

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