Xenophobia BTS faces across the music industry


Nicole Ayala, Contributor

BTS, many may think it stands for behind the scenes but for others, it stands for the biggest boy band in the world; yet without a doubt, they are still an unrecognizable phenomenon across western countries. BTS has broken many records many of whom were already broken by themselves in previous years through different songs that have charted at #1 on the billboards charts. They have also done a lot of humanitarian work whether it’s through the United Nations or supporting charities worldwide. They have lived up to their name and surpassed it yet because they’re an Asian act who don’t sing in English, they are degraded by the media and music industry here in the West and taken advantage of to the point where BTS fans have to step up and defend their favorite group.

Being from a foreign country (in this case from Korea) must be so hard. Not only does the language play a major factor in getting recognition globally but the culture as well. Having to adapt to a different language and culture should not have to be done in order for talented musicians to receive the recognition they deserve. A major part of a musician’s life is to win awards; some major awards are the Grammys, for example. However, because BTS is a foreign band, they are treated like five-year-olds and asked questions by western interviewers about what “their favorite ice cream flavor is” or “what’s your favorite color?” instead of asking questions that talk about their career as musicians and all that they have accomplished ever since they debuted in 2013. 

Weverse is a platform between artist and fan communication started by Hybe, which is the company that BTS is under, and Weverse was originally made for BTS only. Under this app, there’s a weverse magazine where BTS answers questions or staff answer questions. A story that was posted by staff back on June 28, 2021, circulated around Twitter. This post was directly talking about Asian hate with a vivid hashtag #StopAsianHate and how six Asian people “four of whom were Korean” were killed by a white person who had entered an Asian spa in Atlanta Georgia. This post is a prime example of how Asians have faced discrimination not just in the U.S. but worldwide and how many Asian phenoms such as BTS understand this act of racism because they themselves have also been exposed to it. After the incident that occurred in Georgia BTS made a statement on Twitter about this particular incident. They showed deepening condolences to the families of those who were affected by this act of xenophobia and were able to spread a positive message that everyone can be involved in moving forward.

Without a doubt, people who are Asian have been facing racism and xenophobia for simply existing and sadly, hatred toward POC will continue to occur. As many Asian phenomena such as BTS and other K-pop groups seem to take over the western world, it is hoped by many that through their success the stop towards Asians Worldwide will stop and eventually that Asian acts will receive the recognition they deserve considering their hard work, dedication, and charity work it has been proven as to why many including BTS and other k-pop groups deserve to receive more than what they are given. We don’t necessarily have to be a part of an ethnic group to understand that racism and showing extreme xenophobia is bad. We all should be able to live at peace and not have to worry about our surroundings on a daily because of how we look and perceive ourselves to others among our local communities.