THE management company behind South Korea’s largely popular BTS pop group has apologised for a series of offensive outfits worn by its members, which included a t-shirt with an image of a nuclear blast in Japan and a cap with a Nazi symbol.
Big Hit Entertainment issued a 1,000-word statement in Korean, Japanese and English to offer its sincerest apologies.
“We don’t condone any activities of war or the use of atomic weapons. … We had no intention to hurt victims of the dropping of atomic bombs,” it said Tuesday night, as quoted by Yonhap.
The management team was referring to the controversy courted by BTS member Jimin’s T-shirt which carried an image of an atomic bomb during an appearance in Japan.
The public apology came after several Japanese music programmes to issue with the clothes worn by BTS members, prompting them to call of the mega group’s appearance.
Yes a year ago he wore a cloth with an atomic bomb explosion printed on it, but the tshirt actually commemorated the Korean Liberation day. pic.twitter.com/UAq05b7D4l
— 613plus (@lighthend_11) November 9, 2018
“We sincerely apologize for failing to take the precautions that could have prevented our artist from wearing it and unintentionally inflicting pain on atomic weapons victims and those who feel uncomfortable to see the association of our artists with imagery related to atomic bombings,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, Jimin made an indirect apology to his fans during a concert in Tokyo.
“My heart really aches. … Not only ARMY but also many people around the world must have been surprised and concerned over recent controversies,” he said.
“I will never forget our first Tokyo Dome concert. I am so happy to be here with you. I hope you feel the same,” he said.
Big Hit also apologised for a hat worn by another member RM, which carried an alleged Nazi swastika during a photo shoot for years ago. The incident sparked furore among several Jewish organisations who said the group had mocked the past.
— 모찌 / MOCHI / もち (@mochio__123) November 10, 2018
“We would like to offer our sincere apologies for inadvertently inflicting pain and distress on anyone affected by totalitarian regimes in the past by failing to strictly review the clothing and accessories that our members were made to wear,” the company said.
The company also apologised to those who have experienced distress and discomfort by witnessing an association of our artists with imagery reminiscent of “political extremism.”
BTS, who are known for their boyish good looks, floppy haircuts and meticulously choreographed dance moves, has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most valuable musical exports.
According to the AFP, the group has sold 380,000 tickets for their current Japanese tour, and their singles sell hundreds of thousands of copies each.