BTS spoke out against anti-Asian hatred during the White House press conference on Tuesday (May 31).
To mark the last day of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Grammy-nominated Korean six gave a short speech along with US Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
The band’s leader, RM, opened in English by thanking the White House for the “great honor” of “discussing the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion and diversity.”
The group took turns adding to the message, which was shortly afterwards translated into English.
“Today is the last day of AANHPI Heritage Month. We join the White House to stand and celebrate with the AANHPI community,” Seok-Jin began.
Jin-Min said: “We have been devastated by the recent spate of hate crimes, including Asian-American hate crimes. To put an end to this and support the cause, we would like to take this opportunity to speak out again.”
“We are here today thanks to our army, our fans worldwide who have different nationalities and cultures and use different languages. We are truly and always grateful,” added J-Hope. The group’s fandom is regularly referred to as the “BTS Army”.
Jungkook continued, “We are still amazed that the music created by South Korean artists is reaching so many people around the world, breaking down language and cultural barriers in the process. We believe that music is always an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things.”
Suga said: “There’s nothing wrong with being different. I think equality starts when we open up and embrace all our differences.”
“Everyone has their own story, we hope that today is a step forward to respect and understand each individual as a valuable person,” concluded V.
US President Joe Biden then welcomed the K-pop stars to the Oval Office “to discuss the need to come together in solidarity, achieve Asian inclusion and representation, and address anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.”
BTS became the most honored group in Billboard Music Awards history earlier this month. The band — comprised of members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — has won an award at every BBMAs ceremony since 2017.
The group also received their first Grammy nomination last year.
In the past, BTS has dealt with increasing crimes against Asians and other people of color in America.
Two years ago, the band donated $1 million (£793,000) to the Black Lives Matter Foundation following the killing of George Floyd. The group also partnered with Unicef to launch an anti-violence campaign called Love Myself in 2017.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/bts-white-house-press-anti-asian-hate-b2091278.html BTS Addresses Anti-Asian Hatred in White House Press Conferences: ‘It’s Not Wrong to Be Different’