Channel Nine has found itself in hot water with fans of South Korean pop group BTS after airing what was deemed a “racist”, “disgraceful” and “xenophobic” segment on the group.
The segment featured on Nine’s countdown program, 20 to 1, which was counting down the top 20 global crazes, with BTS coming in at number 18.
The band was referred to as “the biggest band you’ve never heard of” and “the South Korean One Direction.”
Multiple talking heads gave their thoughts on the band in the segment, such as UK comedian Jimmy Carr who compared the group’s impact to nuclear war.
The voice-over said the group’s Billboard Music Awards win was surprising as “only one member actually speaks english.”
Other commentators made fun of the band’s young female fanbase and the singing abilities of the members.
Commentators also said they loved the members’ “gangster names” like Jimin, Jin and Jungkook, which are not “gangster” names but the actual names of three of the band members.
Here is the full report which was given on BTS tonight. Watch at your own will. pic.twitter.com/pW43GQHG11
— AUSTRALIA BTS (@australiabts) June 19, 2019
The Australia BTS fan group Twitter account wrote a series of tweets to 20 to One, airing their disappointment in the segment, noting it was factually incorrect and perpetuated racist stereotypes.
Channel Nine said they did not breach any broadcast regulations, but apologised to those who were offended.
In a statement to B&T, a Nine spokesperson said: “As a light-hearted entertainment program, it is our belief that last night’s episode of 20 to One, which highlighted the ‘Greatest Global Crazes’, did not breach any broadcast regulations, and was intended to humorously highlight the popularity of the group.
“We apologise to any who may have been offended by last night’s episode.”
I'm sorry but as an Australian this is embarrassing. Racist jokes and mocking their entire career just don't cut it. And I'm pre sure you don't just ask randos if their gay and thinks it's okay. Congrats on triggering a whole community #channel9apologize pic.twitter.com/BIox8LYCrq
— stan gg's y'all (@tofuhyunie) June 19, 2019
We respectfully ask Channel 9 and the organisers of the 20 To One show to apologise and seek to change their ways to ensure that their content is based on inclusion rather than exclusion and racial tendencies #channel9apologise #channel9apologize
— Luke Waltham (@lukewaltham) June 19, 2019
Tonight on your program you featured the Korean boy band, @BTS_twt, in your countdown. Many Australian ARMY anticipated it at first, only to be extremely disappointed by your report. You described us as crazy fans, purposely chose clips of BTS voices cracking, +
— AUSTRALIA BTS (@australiabts) June 19, 2019
The hashtag #Channel9Apologise quickly became the number one trending hashtag overnight, which has since trended number one in South Korea.
Comedian Alex Williamson also found himself at the centre of the controversy, with the hashtag #FireAlexWilliamson gaining traction after he defended the segment. Williamson is not an employee of Nine and has no connection to the 20 to 1 program.
He wrote on Twitter: “Shut the f*ck up c*nt it ain’t racist they just don’t give a f*ck about boy bands who are designed solely to extract $ from the hip pocket of 14yo’s.
“I’ll always revel in the genuine talents of South Korean professors such as Cheon Jinwoo. Fuck these c*ntz.”
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