BERLIN (AP) – A Bavarian radio station apologized on Friday for comments from a host comparing popular South Korean K-pop band BTS to the coronavirus. His choice of words went too far, but was in no way intended as “hurtful or racist”. ”
The explanation came after legions of fans had accused the broadcaster Matthias Matuschik of racism because of his comments on the cover of the band of Coldplays “Fix You”, which was tagged with the hashtags # Bayern3Racist, # Bayern3Apologize and # RassenBeiBayern3, which translates as “Racism at Bayern3” means posted on social media. ”
“Racism is not an option,” wrote one user, @ Vroseeeee1, in a blunt tweet in English, German, Korean and Spanish.
The uproar came after a live show on Wednesday where Matuschik ridiculed BTS’s version of “Fix You” as “blasphemy”, comparing the band to COVID-19 and describing them as “some shitty virus” that hopefully will soon be one Giving the vaccine will be fine. “
Then he dug his hole deeper as he tried to push the comment back a little. He said, “I have nothing against South Korea, you can’t accuse me of xenophobia just because this boy band is from South Korea … I have a car from South Korea Korea. I have the coolest car. “
He then went on to say that as a penance for the cover, BTS “will be vacationing in North Korea for the next 20 years”.
BTS, which debuted in 2013, became the largest boy band in the world, selling stadiums around the world, and broadcasting a video message at the UN General Assembly this year.
Her songs, filled with intimate, socially conscious lyrics, are recognized for their success. Unlike other K-pop bands who carefully maintain the personas created by their labels, BTS is known for its active engagement with fans – known as ARMY – through social media. BTS has over 33.1 million Followers on Twitter.
The insulting of the comments did not only come from South Korea, but was immediately condemned by many social media users in Germany and elsewhere.
“I know which radio station I won’t listen to anymore, bye @ Bayern3,” wrote user @fairesvmns in a German-language post that contained audio from Matuschik’s comments. “I really don’t need racism of this kind in 2021.”
Many South Koreans living abroad voiced concerns that the statements could lead to anti-Asian violence, which is already increasing in many places.
“It’s not just about #BTS, it’s about so many Asians who are dealing with extreme racism, especially due to a pandemic,” tweeted Hansl Chang, a South Korean living in Germany.
The station’s apology stated that while Matuschik “presented his opinion in an ironic, exaggerated manner, and with exaggerated excitement, his words went too far and hurt the feelings of BTS fans.
“But he – and he has assured us – did not intend this in any way. He just wanted to express his displeasure with the cover version mentioned above. “
It was found that Matuschik was involved in the gathering of aid for refugees and carried out a “permanent campaign against right-wing extremism”. He has shown that he is against xenophobia or racism in any form.
“That does not change the fact that many of you found his statements hurtful or racist,” said Bayern3. “We apologize in all respects. We will be working on it again in detail with Matthias and the team in the next few days. “
Juwon Park in Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.
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