Opinion: BTS Is Too Far Out Of Your Reach To DECODE, Mr. Hollywood Reporter!

manjari mukherjee
Opinion_ BTS Is Too Far Out Of Your Reach To DECODE, Mr. Hollywood Reporter!-min

Things took a detour when excitement turned into massive disappointment over the much-hyped feature cover story on BTS, carried out by The Hollywood Reporter!

Seems like there is no end to xenophobia, racism and the sense of ‘useless’ superiority complex when it comes to being reviewed by sheer white, western lens. To be honest, we’re more than tired of this pattern of behaviour, towards any POC (people of colour) personality trying to make a difference at the world stage!

Opinion: BTS Is Too Far Out Of Your Reach To DECODE, Mr. Hollywood Reporter!

BTS aka Bangtan Sonyeondan, the very group of seven members that strive each day towards the common goal of creating music that can change the world’s outlook from within- was definitely, quite harshly denied any acknowledgement towards their own feelings and hard-work; when The Hollywood Reporter, Seth Abramovitch (a senior writer) very conveniently placed them under the category of a stereotypical Asian block!

Well, the much-awaited and much-hyped feature cover story has given ARMYs throughout the world a massive amount of disappointment. Where the leading publication could’ve used this golden opportunity as a chance to make a super-hit feature over a group that has, in fact, broken stereotypes all over the world- from being named as Next Gen World Leaders by Times Magazine to breaking records all over. The poorly written and directed article seems to show just how unprofessionally the whole interview was carried out.

Mr. Hollywood Reporter, firstly it shouldn’t have been you sitting with the exceptionally talented BTS for dinner, when in reality you’ve already admitted to having no clue about the worldwide famous group or their culture. Secondly, there was never an intention of covering a feature story on BTS, all you really wanted and did manage to show-off was how stringent and hardcore the whole of K-pop industry is, and how superior is your status as a White Man!

BTS WITH KHALLID

BTS WITH KHALLID

Although, I must inform you that K-pop is one, vast genre of music that cannot be summarised by one group or in one small paragraph, or one miniscule outlook. The backbone of a whole asian culture, you were already out of depth when, you started socially criticising the music industry of K-pop without any regards to BTS as the main character of your feature.

Do we need to spell it out to you, that BTS is that very group who’s constantly been changing the way K-pop industry should work and the world’s outlook towards it, simultaneously! Do we need to remind you that BTS is more than “just a boy-group” that has ‘apparently’ somehow managed to become the ambassadors of UNICEF, creating the much-needed campaign of Love Yourself against many social ailments!?

But, you don’t know that, because to you, they’re just some boy-group who’ve got a bunch of teenage hyperactive fan-mania backing them to become world’s toppest! Although, let me remind you 22 million followers and counting isn’t just Teenage fan-mania, or a bunch, it has the power to create a whole new world!

You didn’t just insult the hard-work, dedication and determination put in for several years before they were even allowed to be at the stage BTS stands today, you totally disregarded their own group’s existence over trying to satisfy your inner xenophobia and racist opinions. All you did was place them within same context of the very problematic K-pop industry, that you seem to be against of!

Shinee member Jonghyun

Shinee member Jonghyun

However, let me remind you, several western artists have been victims to mental, emotional and physical pressure from big music labels, just like it happens in K-pop industry. But, I don’t see anyone judging all and every western artist and company on that stereotype! You went from “Since its origins in the 1990s, K-pop has been part Motown, part Hunger Games” to mentioning the very tragic, shocking and emotionally severe loss of popular K-pop Idol Kim Jonghyun’s demise. Let’s not forget, you were totally ignorant of it all, until some hours before the interview. Without a thought towards civilized appropriation and without context (as it was seriously unnecessary and inconsiderate of you), the article makes one of the most heart-wrenching case just one, to prove how unethical is Kpop as a whole. Jonghyun’s family, friends, fans, and loved ones deserve better that this disrespect- a battle of mental illness lost, is a loss to the society as a whole.

Moreover, your very surprise on how BTS is a novelty to have surpassed many big western artists and create a place in the highest order for themselves in your much ‘coveted’ western music industry even as they continue singing in Korean, is honestly off-putting. Need I remind you that we live in a society that’s globally developed enough to have access to multiple channels of media. Why aren’t you shocked when some artist in Latin or Spanish music makes it big, but get prejudiced over Asians!?

BTS WITH HALSEY

BTS WITH HALSEY

Even after you come to know their backstory, through the help of some books on the group, on your way to interviewing them (which i must say has little use if you’ve still not gotten over your outcast sentiments towards Asians), it is shocking how you downright call them puppets for not having a clear response for your very far-reaching and out-of-place question on political issues of a country, they perform in!

Music is a global language, and an artist, even with fierce opinions, has to remind themselves that their own principles cannot INTERFERE with their primary duty as a performer. Had you asked any other western artist over their sentiments on performing in a politically-conflicted country for their FANS, you would’ve been given the same diplomatic, and ‘ with the spontaneity of a Disney animatronic figure.’ However, you rather choose to reflect the boys as simultaneously affable and fake.


Meanwhile, it is your article that has the most misleading statements from the members as well. Orchestrated in a way to attract useless traffic (clout-hunger)! The very statement by BTS Leader Kim Namjoon, stating “We have to consider ourselves not just better [than other K-pop acts], but the best, when were out there on that stage, were there to conquer. We think were the ones,” is hardly digestive to anyone of us who know the group, especially ARMYs. Considering the very fact that RM is one of the most humble, grounded and respectable personalities, towards other artists regardless of their origin!

It is high time, that a leading publication like you, moves past its own xenophobic sentiments and stops being racist on every occasion that it can get their hands on. It’s high time, to be more professional and informed when you go about to interview a group of foreign origin at the world stage. It’s high time, to act as civilised humans with consideration towards what’s appropriate in context of a certain feature story.

Mr. Hollywood Reporter, you just wasted a million-dollar opportunity in satisfying your own useless sense of ‘superior western behaviour‘. Just like I said, BTS Is Too Far Out Of Your Reach To DECODE!

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