Fans are expressing their outrage, following the release of a highly anticipated article that left many in shock.
On October 2, The Hollywood Reporter magazine released their latest issue. BTS are featured on its cover, as well as within its pages.
The article, written by Seth Abramovitch, contains highlights from BTS’s history, tidbits about the K-Pop industry, and information from his interview with BTS and Big Hit Entertainment founder, Bang Si Hyuk, at Dotgogi restaurant in Seoul.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 2, 2019
At the beginning of the article, Seth Abramovitch admits to being “a little fuzzy” on BTS history. He brushed up on his knowledge by reading BTS books during his 13-hour flight.
Forty-eight hours earlier, I’m on an Asiana Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Seoul, the only 47-year-old man on the plane with a pile of BTS books on his lap. While I was well aware of their status as a once-in-a-generation pop culture phenomenon […] I admit to being a little fuzzy on some of the finer points of BTS history…
— Seth Abramovitch
Fans are accusing The Hollywood Reporter of spreading misinformation about BTS and the K-Pop industry, as well as defamation. The article describes K-Pop as “part Motown, part Hunger Games“, and generalizes its trainee programs as militant “training camps”.
Thousands of wannabe K-pop stars compete at regular American Idol-style cattle calls. Those lucky enough to make it to the next level spend years learning their craft inside secretive K-pop training camps, where they’re sometimes subjected to dangerous diets, strict social rules (no dating), grueling rehearsal schedules and mandated plastic surgery and skin-whitening procedures.
— The Hollywoord Reporter
Moreover, the article is angering not just ARMY, but fans from many K-Pop fandoms, by using the tragic passing of SHINee‘s Jonghyun as an example of just how grueling the industry can be.
Only the best of the best wind up in an actual K-pop band — while some don’t survive at all. In 2017, the industry drew intense scrutiny after a member of SHINee, another popular K-pop band, took his own life, writing in his suicide note that he felt “broken on the inside.”
— The Hollywood Reporter
In this context, readers found Jonghyun’s mention to be in poor taste, to say the least.
the worst thing about this shit ass article has to be the way they brought up jonghyun to fit their “kpop industry is horrible” agenda
— Blue Bird (@GurlMeetsEvil) October 2, 2019
I am so goddamn tired of media outlets using Jonghyun to fit their anti-Korean agenda. It makes me so fucking sick that they are using a man who’s everything to so many shawls and one of the sweetest souls a dwindling him down to “another tragedy”. He was so much more than that.
— leeteuk ily (@withlove_sassy) October 2, 2019
The Hollywood Reporter is also receiving heat for this quote from RM.
We have to consider ourselves not just better [than other K-pop acts], but the best,” says RM, BTS’ 25-year-old charismatic leader. “When we’re out there on that stage, we’re there to conquer. We think we’re the ones.
— RM (The Hollywood Reporter)
ARMYs claim that RM was misquoted and portrayed in a way that makes him appear arrogant, which is contrary to his character.
I truly hope kpop fans can see through the bullshit of this article and know that Namjoon would never and has never put BTS on a pedestal over other groups and that the issue of mistranslated and skewed press is not just a BTS issue but an issue for all of Kpop w western media.
— Chaotic Jin Stan™ (@seokjingersnap) October 2, 2019
Your whole article was stereotypical and unprofessional clearly trying to portray an already pre conceived idea of what you think they're like. And on top of it all manipulating their words bc I'm sure with how humble they are J/oon would never say anything near that. No clicks.
— ᴶᶦᵐᶦⁿᶦᵉ (@JJMOCHIJJ) October 2, 2019
Big Hit Entertainment has also received criticism from fans for allowing the article to go to press. ARMYs are now urging their fandom to email their concerns and complaints to the company, in the hopes that changes will be made.
bighit would not and should not proofread articles . no journalist/publication would ever let their source/interviewee proofread their article. i understand hating the article but pls stop spreading the ideas that undermine the free press .
— ;—; (@hotlinehope) October 2, 2019
Hello guys please do not rt/like this nor give the article clicks. Email THR/Bighit about the article instead. https://t.co/lQT0eNa4I1
— francez (@HOPESTUDlO) October 2, 2019