Australian program sparks backlash for edited clip of BTS’ V spreading COVID at the Grammys

BTS V
Image: @etnow/Twitter; @theprojecttv/Twitter
  • Australian TV show “The Project” released a recap video of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Monday that included a clip of BTS member V edited to show him coughing and spreading the COVID-19 virus.
  • Footage of V (Kim Taehyung) vibing along to Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” live performance was edited to include a coughing sound effect and images of viruses coming out from his mouth.
  • The clip was paired with a narrator stating, “K-pop sensation BTS dropped in, dismissing their very recent battles with COVID-19.”
  • BTS fans immediately took notice and took to Twitter with posts using the hashtag #StopAsianHate to demand an apology and the removal of the video.

Australian TV show “The Project” released a recap video of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Monday that included footage of BTS member V edited to depict him coughing and spreading the COVID-19 virus.

BTS, who were nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category, performed their 2021 hit song “Butter” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Australian TV program included snippets of both the band’s performance and footage of their reactions throughout the televised event in their program’s recap. 

Footage of BTS member V (Kim Taehyung) vibing along to Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” live performance was edited to include a coughing sound effect as well as small images of viruses coming out of his mouth. The recap video was paired with a narrator stating, “K-pop sensation BTS dropped in, dismissing their very recent battles with COVID-19.”

BTS management group Big Hit revealed that member Jungkook tested positive for COVID-19 on March 29 but later confirmed his full recovery just in time for the band’s appearance at the awards ceremony.

BTS fans, known as the ARMY, immediately took notice of the edited clip and took to Twitter with posts using the hashtag #StopAsianHate to demand an apology and a removal of the video.

“We condemn these microaggressions being demonstrated towards Asian artists and demand a takedown of the post and a formal apology #StopAsianHate,” one fan replied.

“We are tired of the perpetual hate against Asian artists. There’re many ways to engage your audience and yet you’ve chosen to associate an Asian act with a very serious and ongoing pandemic. It’s unacceptable. We demand a take down of this post and an apology. #StopAsianHate,” another fan wrote

“It’s comedy? No, obviously? It’s disguised racism, plain and simple,” one fan tweeted. “The attempt at humor is straight up disrespectful. Gone are the days where we let stuff like this pass without repercussions. Apologize and take down the post. #StopAsianHate.”

“Of all the people in attendance who’d recovered from COVID, @theprojecttv pointed out BTS and added graphics to show V coughing/spreading germs. This is a time when anti-Asian hate is at an all-time high and people who look like me are being beaten/killed. Stop this racist bull$hit!” journalist Jae-Ha Kim wrote.

“Also… In case this isn’t clear: V was laughing and the outlet added graphics to make it look like he was spreading COVID,” he added. “They knew exactly what they were doing. It’s not just a ‘joke.’ This is disgusting and it’s this kind of action that normalizes racism.”

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