Live

Watch CBSN Live

When a TV show made racist jokes about BTS, their fans around the world rallied online to defend them

BTS, the Korean pop sensation
BTS, the Korean pop sensation 08:22

Ultra-popular K-pop band BTS has seen global success – which has come with a large and fiercely loyal fan base. Followers of the seven-member band are often affectionately referred to as BTS Army, and they recently went to battle for the boys after a comedy show made racists joke about them.

The Chilean TV show "Mi Barrio" began trending Sunday on Twitter after a sketch that made racist jokes about BTS. In part of the sketch, actors portraying the band members introduce themselves as "Kim Jong Un," "Kim Jong Dos," and so on. The actors also mocked the band members' accents.

Fans who saw clips of the show immediately took action, sharing their thoughts on Twitter along with several hashtags, such as #StopAsianHate, and #ElRacismoNoEsComedia or #RacismIsNotComedy. 

One BTS fan account on Twitter based in Chile shared a link for people to make a citizen complaint about the show – even if you don't live in Chile. 

"I saw the video. Disgusting. Who on earth would consider that humorous? What's wrong with you to think that was ok? With what's happened recently. You can't hide behind 'It's comedy'. You know better! #ElRacismoNoEsComedia," one person tweeted.

"It's maybe funny for you, but very painful for some people. Just think about that #MiBarrio," another Twitter user wrote.

"Anti-Asian racism is not comedy! #MiBarrio needs to be held accountable for promoting dangerous racist beliefs on Chilean TV. We demand an apology to BTS and the Asian community. #ElRacismoNoEsComedia," a BTS fan account tweeted.

The video of the sketch has been removed from the "Mi Barrio" YouTube channel and within hours, a statement was published on the show's Instagram page. "We will continue to improve, learn, listen and firm in our intention: to bring entertainment to families," the statement reads. "We collect all the positive comments and also the criticisms, because we are here for that: to contribute with a grain of humor and entertainment."

This is not the first time BTS fans have rallied together to make an impact. K-pop fans on TikTok were among those who used social media to sabotage a rally for former President Donald Trump in 2020. The fans reserved tickets to the Oklahoma event, inflating the expected attendance and then not showing up, according to the Associated Press.

Fans and the band itself also helped support the Black Lives Matter movement last year, using social media to encourage fans to donate until they matched BTS' $1 million contribution. 

The band has not released a public statement about the "Mi Barrio" sketch, but last month condemned Asian hate while sharing their experience with racism.

"We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians," the band said in the statement. "We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke English."

"We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason," they said. "Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away at our self esteem."

The statement came after it was reported there had been 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans over the last year, according to a new report released by Stop AAPI Hate.

The growing number of anti-Asian hate crimes reflects a trend of discrimination against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.