The MTV Video Music Awards have added a new K-pop category this year, but if you thought that expansion would please a plurality of BTS fans, think again. BTS fans have taken to Twitter and other social media to charge that it’s actually a racist or xenophobic move designed to ghettoize their favorite group and keep them from competing with other top pop acts.
Although BTS did get four nominations for the VMAs — best collaboration (with Halsey), best art direction, best choreography and, of course, an entry in the new best K-pop category — members of the always active BTS Army are using hashtags like #VMAsRacist, @VMAsXenophobic and #VMAsAreOverParty to register their outrage that the combo is not up in top categories like video of the year, artist of the year or best new artist.
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“You know what… to hell with your racist awards,” said one typical post, from @jikookdaes. “Note this down, BTS will win the Grammys this year and we’ll sit and watch them while you’ll have to nominate them for the best new artist category next year. KARMA IS AN ARMY.”
“Thank you for introducing the new category ‘best K-pop’ just so Asian artists don’t mix with westerners & western artists can get the main awards,” wrote @jeonchaeng97. “You’ve just proven how xenophobia runs in the western industry’s blood and your racist ass is ugly asF.”
The premiere of a K-pop category, unique among major music awards shows so far, doesn’t represent the first time a division has been introduced with a specific ethnicity or global region of origin in mind. The VMAs have long had a “best Latin” category — and the Grammys have an entirely separate awards show devoted to subdividing that area. But some of the BTS soldiers contended that represents racism, too.
“Jonas Brothers for AOTY??? LMAO!!! And what the fvck is ‘Latin Pop’ and ‘K-Pop’ category when some of them are literally bigger and outsold your white artists!!??” posted #vjkish@18. “Aren’t they all freaking Artists who deserves to be nominated fairly??”
This wave of disdain doesn’t necessarily mean BTS stans are looking to boycott the show. “I love how we armys multitask,” tweeted @BTS_0utsold. “I mean, we will drag @vmas by their racist, raggedy wigs but still vote for our boys BTS because they deserve every award and we’d love to give it to them.”
Less displeased about the new category are fans of the other five nominated acts — Blackpink, Monsta X, Tomorrow X Together, NCT 127 and EXO — who are presumably excited to see their favorites get some extra attention in being pitted against the American commercial monster of the bunch.
Reps for the VMAs could not immediately be reached for comment on the BTS soldiers’ uprising.