BTS ARMY works towards bringing social justice through campaigns
WASHINGTON (US) – BTS, the South Korean supergroup, is known for bringing out hits and capturing a growing global fan base.
Early in June, fans – collectively called ARMY – worked together for an online campaign called #MatchAMillion to collect money for causes committed to the United States. It pulled in $1 million within a day, matching the band’s donation itself for Black Lives Matter movement.
This accomplishment showed that being a BTS fan, is more than buying records. It also illustrates how the fan base is able to tap on the power of social media.
Erika Overton, 40, one of the administrators of One In An ARMY, the fan group that was behind the #MatchAMillion fundraising initiative, said, “We’re buying cars and selling out stadiums; you can’t just do that with some overexcited girls. This is not just a fan group to enjoy music – it’s an economic force, and something you can’t really dismiss as something trivial.”
Some Black ARMY members say BTS has a responsibility to continue the support for the racial justice protests that affect them. Moreover, BTS has also publicly acknowledged that their music is based on hip-hop and R&B – genres created and made popular by Black American artists.
But others voiced their concern that the wider fanbase’s attention to these racial issues might be short-lived.
Nico Edward, who runs a YouTube channel on BTS reaction video, said, “When people care – like seriously care – they’re going to put action behind that and not just words. And to actually see action behind it? That made me wake up and have hope.”
“People lash out and do the hashtags and stuff and that’s fine to raise awareness, but it usually, historically, dies out and people’s attention moves to other things. But we’re still dealing with this every single day.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.