Countless celebrities have spoken out to condemn the recent incidents of violence and discrimination toward the AAPI community globally, including Gemma Chan, Arden Cho, and Lana Condor. On Tuesday, March 30, BTS added their voices to the calls to end Asian hate. You need to read BTS' statement condemning Asian hate, because it's powerful.
The group's message, which was written in both English and Korean and posted to the group's personal Twitter, comes after numerous attacks against Asians and a series of shootings at three Atlanta spas left eight people dead, including six Asian women. "We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger," BTS began their statement.
The septet then got honest about incidents in which they've experienced racism themselves. "We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English," they explained. "Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem."
As a Korean group who's succeeding in the Western music industry, BTS has unfortunately been mocked for singing in their native language on several occasions, and the most recent xenophobic comments toward them have come amid a rise in Anti-Asian attacks during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, after their Feb. 23 appearance on MTV Unplugged, German Bayern 3 radio host Matthias Matuschik criticized their performance by comparing them to "some crappy virus that there will be a vaccine for soon." In February 2020, the Howard Stern Show's Salvatore Governale also joked there was "no way [BTS] don't have the coronavirus," and that August, Star 102.1 FM mocked BTS' Korean lyrics on air.
Due to their own experience with racism, BTS said they had to use their platform to bring awareness to the Asian attacks happening in the U.S. "What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians. It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message," they wrote, before ending their letter on a powerful note. "But what our voice must convey is clear. We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together."
Read BTS' statement condemning Asian hate below.