BTS should be taken seriously by the music industry
BTS has been taking over the U.S. Billboard charts over the past few months yet their accomplishments as international musicians, philanthropists and youth ambassadors are dismissed. It’s time for the industry to give them some respect.
BTS gained five No.1 albums since 2018, five number one hits in under a year and were the first Korean acts to be nominated for a Grammy. Alongside those musical accomplishments, they spoke at the United Nations in 2018, became ambassadors for UNICEF and donated a million dollars to the Black Lives Matter movement.
They were also appointed by the South Korean president as “Presidential Special Envoy for Future Generations and Culture”.
Despite all of these accomplishments, music critics have questioned the authenticity of BTS’ success by accusing their fanbase of chart manipulation through mass buying. People refuse to believe that a Korean boy band has millions of fans around the world that support them wholeheartedly.
There is a blatant history of xenophobia and racism aimed towards BTS such as being mocked for their accents, language and appearance. Earlier in the year, the group released a statement in regards to the rise of hate towards Asians and mentioned their own experience saying that the racism they faced made them feel powerless.
BTS members are constantly mocked for the way they look, the way they dress and the language they speak. People scorn them for wearing makeup and accuse them of being manufactured products of the industry. All of these accusations are irrelevant to what BTS has actually contributed to the world and are meant to shun BTS from the American music industry.
Despite the attempts to hold them back, BTS continues to do what they do because of their fanbase, the BTS ARMY. The BTS ARMY is very loyal to the band because not only do they love their music but they also admire the artists as people.
Through music that speaks about mental health, discovering your dreams, loving yourself and finding purpose, it makes sense that fans would want to show their support by buying the group’s music. It’s weird to accuse only the band of having fake fans that manipulate the charts. Plenty of other music artists out there have loyal fans. BTS shouldn’t be singled out for theirs.
Much of the criticism and assumptions made about BTS is racially charged. Much of what is said, wouldn’t be said about One Direction or the Jonas Brothers. The American music industry needs to stop this bias and give BTS the respect they deserve.
Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a journalism freshman who can be reached at [email protected]