South Korean mega group BTS and their label, BigHit, released the first issue of Weverse Magazine where they highlight stories, including COVID-19 related racism they encountered while visiting the U.S. earlier this year.
A racist comment made towards BTS on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show” in New York on Feb. 21 did not come to light until three days later, according to the Weverse Magazine
- Host Howard Stern was talking about the COVID-19 pandemic at the time when writer Salvatore “Sal” Governale made a comment claiming BTS was carrying the virus, NBC News reported in February.
- “BTS is from Korea and Sal was freaking out,” the 66-year-old radio personality said on the episode. “BTS was here at Sirius on Friday and Sal was saying, ‘There’s no way those guys don’t have the coronavirus.’ He was like every a**hole.”
- Gary Dell’Abate, the producer of the show, also weighed in on the issue and said, “Every celebrity who walks through the SiriusXM door is traveling all over the world — not just Asians.”
- “I walked into the lobby and it was like Chinatown, out of control, there were so many Asian people,” Governale said on air, doubling down on his previous statement. “These people are traveling, they’re not locals, they’re going from country to country to country. It’s a dangerous situation. You got to look at it that way — they’re on airplanes; they’re in hotels.”
- “I got so many emails about what an idiot you are for avoiding a Korean boy band,” Stern, a well-known germaphobe, said. “I’m super paranoid about diseases and germs, but you came off as racist.”
People’s reaction: Many people took to social media to call out “The Howard Stern Show” and SiriusXM after the issue was brought back to the spotlight.