An Australian media outlet added a coughing sound and virus-shaped CG to a video of BTS V, sparking controversy over racism.
On April 4th (local time), the Australian media channel The Project posted a video related to the 64th Grammy Awards on its official SNS.
The controversial scene appeared at 00:48 of the video. This media outlet added a coughing sound and virus-shaped CG onto the scene where V was cheering while watching other singers from the audience seat after BTS finished their “Butter” stage.
When the video was released, netizens immediately criticized it, saying, “Stop Asian Hate.” One netizen said, “V is just chillingly enjoyed the performance,” adding, “They have to apologize to BTS and re-edit the video. Asians don’t put up with this anymore.” Other netizens also responded negatively, such as “This is racist,” “I don’t know why they edited it like that,” and “Asian hate is not a joke or a fun game.”
Earlier in 2019, when BTS was introduced as the “currently the best artist” on Australian public broadcasting Channel Nine, Jimmy Carr, the host of the program, said he had never heard of BTS, sparking controversy.
At the time, Jimmy Car said, “If Kim Jung-eun likes male idols, the war problem in Korea could have been solved now,” adding, “When I first heard something Korean had exploded in America, I got worried. So I guess, it could’ve been worse – but not much worse.”
He also sarcastically said, “There is only one member in BTS who can speak English,” and “Their song is not good.” Later, as the controversy spread, an official on Channel 9 explained through CNN, “It was to humorously emphasize the popularity of BTS.”
Meanwhile, BTS was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Award for “Butter” at the 64th Grammy Awards held at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3rd, but they failed to bring home the award.
On the side, BTS was previously discriminated against by a famous U.S. sports card maker during the 2021 Grammy Awards. Topps, which is famous in Korea for producing cards containing the faces of sports players, portrayed other artists as singers by drawing them on stages and in costumes at the Grammy Awards, while BTS was portrayed as parts of a “whack-a-mole game.” Topps got accused of being racist after this.
In the end, Topps released a statement on social media saying it has removed the card of BTS from its deck, adding that it has “not printed any of the sticker card and it will not be available”. “We hear and understand our consumers who are upset about the portrayal of BTS in our GPK Shammy Awards product and we apologize for including it,” Topps wrote.