BTS addresses anti-Asian hate in White House Press Briefings: ‘It’s not wrong to be different’

·2-min read
BTS addresses anti-Asian hate in White House Press Briefings: ‘It’s not wrong to be different’

BTS have spoken out against anti-Asian hate during Tuesday’s (31 May) White House Press Briefing.

In celebration of the final day of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Grammy-nominated Korean six-piece joined US Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to deliver brief remarks.

The band’s leader, RM, opened in English by thanking the White House for the “great honour” to “discuss the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion and diversity”.

The group took turns adding to the message, which was translated into English shortly after.

“Today’s the last day of AANHPI Heritage Month. We join the White House to stand with the AANHPI community and to celebrate,” Seok-Jin began.

Jin-Min said: “We were devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes including Asian-American hate crimes. To put a stop on this and support the cause, we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.”

“We are here today thanks to our army, our fans, worldwide who have different nationalities, and cultures, and use different languages. We are truly and always grateful,” J-Hope added. The group’s fanbase is reguarly referred to as the “BTS Army”.

Biden BTS (Getty)
Biden BTS (Getty)

Jungkook continued:  “We still feel surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches so many people around the world, transcending languages and cultural barriers. We believe music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”

Suga said: “It’s not wrong to be different. I think equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences.”

“Everyone has their own history, we hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and everyone as a valuable person,” V concluded.

Afterwards, US President Joe Biden welcomed the K-Pop stars to the Oval Office “to discuss the need to come together in solidarity, Asian inclusion and representation, and addressing anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination”.

BTS became the most awarded group in the history of the Billboard Music Awards earlier this month. The band – comprising members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook – have won an award at every BBMAs ceremony since 2017.

The group also received its first Grammy nomination last year.

In the past, BTS have addressed issues of rising crimes against Asians and other people of colour in America.

Two years ago, the band donated $1m (£793,000) to the Black Lives Matter foundation following the killing of George Floyd. The group also launched an anti-violence campaign called “Love myself” along with Unicef in 2017.