A German radio station has issued a public apology after fans and artists called out a radio host for comparing BTS to the coronavirus.
Bayern 3, a radio station in Bavaria state in southeast Germany, released the apology on Feb. 26 after its host, Matthias Matuschik, shared his opinion on BTS’ cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” that fans deemed as racist, according to the Associated Press.
Offending BTS fans, also known as ARMY, was never his intention, the apology continued to explain, adding the host wanted to express his “displeasure” over the cover.
“That does not change the fact that many of you found his statements to be hurtful or racist,” the station said. “We apologize for this in every way possible. We will work on the matter with Matthias and the team in detail again in the next few days.”
On Feb. 24, Matuschik played the group’s cover of “Fix You.” After the song ended, he critiqued the piece by describing it as “blasphemy” and compared BTS to “some crappy virus that hopefully there will be a vaccine for soon as well.”
“I have nothing against South Korea. You can’t accuse me of xenophobia only because this boy band is from South Korea … I have a car from South Korea. I have the coolest car around,” the host said at the time.
He then suggested the group “will be vacationing in North Korea for the next 20 years” for their song cover.
Many fans were outraged by the host’s comment, News18 reported.
— Bts_forever (@Bts_purple_me) February 26, 2021
Racist humor? Absolutely disgusted. Freedom of speech is not some pass for racist to spread their racist propaganda. Your words, right here are already a form of violence. Racism is not an opinion. Apologize to BTS. #Bayern3Apologize#Bayern3Racist #RassismusBeiBayern3 pic.twitter.com/mLbqUZZBSf
— 눈부신 전정국⁷🎤💙 (@JJK_Artist) February 26, 2021
There’s a fine line between social commentary and sugar coated racism and we all know which side this falls on. Uhmm how do people even tolerate this blatant stupidity? What a sad and pathetic excuse for entertainment journalism #Bayern3Racist #apologizetobts pic.twitter.com/ipo5gmQrxm
— ⟭⟬ ggukie⁷ ⟭⟬ (@shookjinkook_) February 26, 2021
The audicity to disrespect highly- acknowledge artists. A healing, a home, and the pride of millions. You are putting yourself on grave honey, yes you are!#apologizetobts #Bayern3Racist pic.twitter.com/FlVVr6Qeqz
— bluewyn⁷ || ✿_✿ (@hoonsomnia) February 26, 2021
Other artists, including Halsey, Steve Aoki and Zara Larsson, have also called out Matuschik’s comment, Billboard reported.
Absolutely unacceptable the way radio host Matthias Matuschik speaks hate and racism in general let alone to my brothers. I stand with @bts_BigHit to condemn hate of any kind and stop this kind of prejudice wherever we can. We must stand together. Spread love not hate.
— Steve Aoki (@steveaoki) February 27, 2021
“Ewwww I just heard that clip of the radio presenter,” Larsson tweeted. “First of all, you f—ed up the second you mentioned BTS. Army’s don’t play like that. And I hope you will never sleep peacefully again, knowing you ruined your career over being racist. I stand with my friends.”
And this is a bigger issue than one racist radio host speaking about BTS. This is about racism against Asians and xenophobia. we must all speak up, which is the bare minimum, to show people like him that his words have consequences.
— Zara Larsson (@zaralarsson) February 27, 2021
Singer-songwriter Halsey called the commentary “racist and xenophobic” while also adding an apology to BTS and Asian communities should be forthcoming, according to her Instagram Stories.
“Racism and xenophobia cannot be thinly veiled as ‘on air humor.’ Irresponsible and disgusting statements in a time where hate speech and violent behavior towards Asian communities are skyrocketing,” she wrote.