The Chase’s Anne Hegerty has landed herself in hot water with BTS fans after branding the K-pop stars “a little Korean boy band that’s fundamentally not important”.
The quizzer made the comments on Twitter as she waded into a debate about a remark made by The Economist’s Anne McElvoy.
McElvoy sparked a backlash when she wrote “Please no” about the news that the band had spoken at the UN General Assembly. She later clarified that it was in jest and said sorry, but Hegerty piped up on Twitter: “All this about a little Korean boy band that’s fundamentally not important?”
The star – aka The Governess – quickly found herself on the wrong side of the band’s followers, who are known as “the BTS Army”.
"’Little Korean boyband’? Excuse me? Some people are ALIVE because of those 7 boys,” one person tweeted.
Another wrote: “Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it’s not important to someone else... in this case, millions of people across generations, cultures and genders worldwide.”
One Twitter user told Hegerty that BTS were fundamentally important as they were representing Asian men.
“And finally showing the world how Asian men can be sexy, aspirational, Inspirational, beautiful, fierce, talented and more,” the fan continued, saying the quizzer calling the band “little” was a “microaggression”.
“I’m so disappointed,” tweeted another fan. “I admired you, but this is beneath anyone of merit. Given the challenges these men have faced, the racism they still endure after having earned accolades worldwide - how seriously they’ve taken their platform does actually make them fundamentally important.”
BTS – comprised of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, V, Jimin and Jungkook – got together in 2010 and started unveiling music in 2013.
They are known for songs such as Boy in Luv, I Need U and Spring Day and are the best-selling artists in South Korean history.