BTS have spoken out to condemn anti-Asian racism and discrimination, opening up about moments when they have faced racial prejudice in their own lives.
The best-selling South Korean boyband have shared their "grief and anger" over anti-Asian racism, with hate crimes and violence against Asian people around the world having significantly risen over the past year.
Posting a statement on Twitter, the band wrote: "We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger.
"We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English.
"We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason. 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 our self-esteem."
The band went on to urge their fans around the world to "stand together" against intolerance and hate, writing: "What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians.
"It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message.
"But what our voice must convey is clear.
"We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together."
The band, who last year donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, have received an outpouring of support from fans on social media following their statement, with many pledging to stand with them.
They are not the only big names to make a statement about the need to stand against anti-Asian racism. Killing Eve and Grey's Anatomy star Sandra Oh gave a passionate speech at a Stop Asian Hate protest in the US earlier this month, leading the crowd to chant: "I am proud to be Asian. I belong here."
In the UK, there has been a 300% increase in hate crimes against East and Southeast Asians, according to UK police data.
Readers can donate to besea.n (Britain's East and Southeast Asian Network), UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up to Racism, and End the Virus of Racism, which is committed to addressing racism against East and Southeast Asians.
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