Boycott of K-pop band BTS on Chinese social media

Entertainment

By CAPosts 14 October, 2020 - 05:30pm 430 views

Political correctness is not the exclusive preserve of the West. On Chinese social media, it mixes with the fervent nationalism promoted by the Party to create sticky magma. Many international personalities and companies have felt it firsthand in recent years. His latest victim has been the K-pop group BTS , one of the most successful formations in the world, because of his candid statements regarding the Korean War . The origin of the scandal dates back to the end of last week, when BTS received the General James A. Van Fleet award. This distinction, awarded by the Korea Society, an NGO based in the United States, recognizes the work of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of ties between the two countries. During the virtual ceremony, the leader of the group Kim Nam-joon - better known by his stage name, RM - thanked the award. “The gala is especially significant given that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the story of pain that our two nations shared, and the sacrifices of countless men and women. " During that conflict, between 1950 and 1953, South Korea repelled the North's assault thanks to the intervention at the last moment of the United States and the UN, after having lost 90% of its territory. When it seemed that the war would turn around and the North would disappear, the intervention of China - which had ended its civil war just a few months before - gave air to the Kim Il-sung regime and returned the border to the 38th parallel, where it is today in day. Officially, the conflict between the two Koreas continues, as it was paused by means of an armistice pending a final peace agreement that never came. "After 70 years, the world in which we live is much more united," said the singer. His conciliatory words, however, have sparked outrage in China. There the history of this war is very different, beginning with the name: "War to Resist American Aggression and Help Korea." This historical episode cements the communist narrative, since it marked the country's first international victory after its Century of Humiliation . For this reason, the innocent praise of the BTS leader has raised blisters in the Asian giant in recent days. "Chinese netizens said that the band's totally one-sided attitude towards the Korean War hurts their feelings and denies the story," summarized the official Global Times tabloid. “We Chinese lost 200,000 compatriots. When [RM] you were 28, you were earning Chinese money. When Mao's son was 28 years old [who lost his life in the conflict and is celebrated as a martyr] he remained in that war forever, ”wrote a user on the Chinese social network Weibo –similar to Twitter–, where the topic has been one of the most talked about throughout the weekend. "You are South Korean and you can say what you want, but I am Chinese and I have decided to get angry and leave the band's fan club to express my determination," declared another. As a result, the brands linked to the septet, whose members have gone from golden boys to plagued, have been freaked out. The first has been Samsung , also South Korean, who has withdrawn from the most popular e-commerce platforms in the country a special edition of phones and headphones inspired by BTS. Other houses, such as Fila and Hyundai - the latter also South Korean - have removed all traces of the group from their social networks. The firm that represents them, Big Hit Entertainment, has not issued any statement in this regard. The scandal has exploded at a delicate moment for the organization, which is finalizing its IPO . It is not the first time that international firms face reputational crises after touching sensitive issues for the Chinese population or regulators. The last big case was that of the NBA, motivated by a tweet from the Houston Rockets general director, Daryl Morey, in which he expressed his support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The controversy ended with the suspension of the broadcast of the North American league matches in China . Most of the companies caught in the fray have chosen to issue heartfelt apologies, which in turn has drawn criticism in the West for bowing to the Party's wishes. Digital anger is a universal phenomenon.

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