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Fans slam Channel 9’s BTS segment for ‘xenophobic’ remarks

By Ahn Sung-mi

  • Published : Jun 20, 2019 - 16:00
  • Updated : Jun 20, 2019 - 16:00

BTS (Big Hit Entertainmnet)

Australian broadcaster Channel 9 is under fire from BTS fans -- known as Army -- for insensitive and xenophobic remarks on its program “20 To One.”

The segment, which counts down the top 20 global pop culture crazes, placed BTS at No. 18 and introduced the septet as “the biggest band you’ve never heard of,” and was called the “South Korean version of One Direction” by host Erin Molan on Wednesday evening. Co-host Nick Cody then agreed by saying “Yeah, never heard of them.”

Molan stated it was impressive that BTS became the first Korean band to reach No. 1 on the American charts, considering “only one band member actually speaks English.”

During the short segment, various panelists questioned the band’s quality, including comedian Jimmy Carr who said, “When I first heard something Korean had exploded in America, I got worried. So it could have been worse. But not much worse.”

Co-hosts of "20 To One" Erin Molan (left) and Nick Cody

Singer Rob Mills praised BTS’ choreography, but said the singing skills are “passable,” while immediately displaying a clip of Jimin missing a note. Comedian Mel Buttle said “there’re seven members. That is a lot. Surely you could fire four of them.”

Some fans were also enraged when panelists joked BTS members “even spoke at the United Nations” likely talking about “hair products.”

Following the broadcast, BTS fans and viewers condemned the segment for poking fun at the boy band, with remarks that are “racist” and “disrespectful.” The fans have taken to social media to demand an official apology, with the hashtags #channel9apologize and #FireAlexWilliamson currently trending on Twitter.

Australia’s official BTS fan group on Twitter said they are disappointed by the broadcast, saying, “You described us as crazy fans and purposely chose clips of BTS members’ voices cracking.”

Comedian Alex Williamson wasn’t on the segment, but became the center of the backlash when he supported “20 To One” with multiple tweets curses.

Channel 9 has apologized, but fans remain unsatisfied.

“As a light-hearted entertainment program, it is our belief that last night’s episode of ‘20 to One,’ which highlighted the ‘Greatest Global Crazes’, did not breach any broadcasting regulations, and was intended to humorously highlight the popularity of the group. We apologize to anyone who is offended,” a Channel 9 spokesperson was quoted as saying in SBS show PopAsia.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)