Yesterday evening, the Korean news outlet Xportsnews had published an article, in which a reporter called to question BTS winning Top Social Artist at Billboard Music Awards earlier this year. This article was released shortly after reports were revealed and Big Hit Entertainment gave an official statement on the case against a blackmailer who received a prison sentence on charges of blackmailing Big Hit Entertainment and threatening to reveal alleged illegal marketing practices by Big Hit.
The article received major backlash as BTS fans flooded twitter with posts using hashtags #엑스포츠_전원기자_사과해 and #Xports_apologize_to_BTS , demanding an apology from Xportsnews and the writer of the article. Xportsnews soon responded by releasing an article on the afternoon of Sept 7th titled, “We apologize for the article about BTS.”
In the article, Xportsnews stated, “Xportsnews released an ‘X’s Focus article at 7:30 PM (KST) on Sept 6th, 2017 regarding BTS, which was featured in a column outlining the journalist’s opinions.” They also mentioned that [Xportsnews] recognized that the content was problematic and immediately after the article was published, they deleted it from the site at around 8:15 PM (KST).
The article also stated, “The article in question made leaps in logic; we apologize for the article containing the potential for misunderstanding that we were devaluing the artist’s and fans’ efforts, and also for hurting the artist and their fans.”
“There were no intentions to undermine the efforts of [BTS and BTS’s fans] through this article. However, we sincerely apologize.”
“Taking this incident as a lesson, we will strive to report more accurate and balanced articles in the future. Thank you.”
Though Xportsnews published an apology article, the fans are still calling for a direct apology from the writer of the offending article, Jeon Won, as well as calling out the news outlet for displacing the blame on the readers for misunderstanding the article, rather than the writer of the article. The fans continued to tweet about this incident using hashtag #엑스포츠_전원기자_오보사과해, demanding a proper apology.
Later, The Asia Business daily published an article, “Billboard directly answers to the suspicion over BTS winning ‘BBMA’ “, reporting about this incident.
Billboard reporter Tamar Herman also came forward on her social media, negating the claims aimed at BTS.
— Tamar Herman (@TamarWrites) September 6, 2017
Updated on Sept 8th, 2017:
Another leading Korean news outlet Dispatch published an article written by Dispatch reporter Kim Suji, on Sept 8th, 5:05 pm titled, “[Lifestyle Only] If you saw “Bangtan” (BTS) on Billboard… The controversy is meaningless.”
In this article, Kim Suji reports about the complete BBMA experience with BTS (along with the photos), from the magenta carpet to being present at the prestigious awards. He also talks about the offending article that questioned BTS’ Top Social Artist Award 2017.
The article starts by expressing the excitement of attending BBMAs, “BILLBOARD. It’s not something you can relate easily since it’s not common. To be honest, we ‘Dispatch’ also couldn’t believe it.” “When you can’t believe it, seeing it with your bare eyes is the best.” “BBMA is one of the most prestigious awards in the US.”
About the presence of fans at the magenta carpet, the reporter said, “80% of the fans at the magenta carpet were BTS fans. They came for BTS, not Billboard. Thus, I humorously reported to my desk, “Billboard didn’t save BTS. BTS saved Billboard.” ”
Regarding the allegations of illegal marketing, the reporter stated, “It was the case that one man (A) blackmailed Big Hit threatening to reveal evidence of Big Hit’s illegal marketing and demanded 300 M won.
The judge sentenced him a year in jail for blackmailing and using the customer’s confidential information.”
“The question was raised, “Did BTS receive the award because of this illegal marketing? Is it possible? No, it is not.”
“I don’t know how Big Hit use viral marketing. However, they can’t buy Billboard with any marketing method. Billboard’s statistics partner is clearly Nielsen.”
“The final result, BTS received 300 M votes, which was more than 10 times bigger than Justin Bieber, who received 23 M votes.
BTS winning the BBMA. It is not a quality you can belittle. It is an achievement that can’t be reached with marketing nor can be brought with money.
This is what I saw and felt in Las Vegas. This was Dispatch reporter Kim Suji reporting.”
You can find the complete English translation of the above mentioned article here.
Both Dispatch and reporter Kim Suji deny the allegations and respond saying that BTS truly earned the Billboard Top Social Artist Award and that a prestigious award such as BBMA can’t be bought with any illegal marketing method.
As of Sept 8th, BTS fans still continue to demand a proper apology from the writer, using hashtags on twitter.
What are your thoughts on this incident? Let me know in the comments section below?
Source: Soompi[Credit: (Eng trans of Dispatch article) Jiminishell.]