FuseTV Aggressively Regrets Insulting K-Pop Groups BTS and G-Friend in Now-Banned Podcast
By Heather Johnson Yu
September 22, 2017
FuseTV‘s K-pop podcast, K-Stop, has deleted their latest episode after receiving backlash from BTS and G-Friend fans. Listeners were angry with Jeff Benjamin, Tina Xu, and Brooke Bunce for comments regarding the hosts’ distaste for certain aspects of the band, including hairstyles, voices, pronunciations, and the quality of their work.
Fans who were able to download the podcast before its deletion were furious at the hosts for their criticism, as it seemed mean-spirited coming from people who professed to be supporters of the genre.
Those still upset with K-Stop continue to upload the podcast to social media channels, only to find their video pulled several hours later. (We would have liked to show you, but like the headline suggests, FuseTV is aggressively hunting down mirrors of the podcast).
So we did the next best thing: Nextshark was able to listen to the Podcast in full; we have transcribed parts of the offending commentary (overwhelmingly done by Xu and Bunce).
When speaking about Rap Monster:
“[Rap Monster] looked ridiculous [in the DNA music video]. He looked like he was 14. That hair is horrible. And then he did the weird movement where he was like ‘duuuuuuhhhh’ for like, two seconds, and then like, wiggled his fingers.”
“He did look silly in the video. More silly than normal.”
“He looked ridiculous.”
When speaking about Jin:
“I still don’t know what Jin looks like.”
When speaking about Jimin:
“I don’t love songs that start with Jimin’s voice. I’m sorry, it’s like [imitates voice]. And they started like, at least like three tracks with his voice and I’m like ‘enough’. I think it’s the falsetto that kills me, it’s like a breezy falsetto.”
When speaking about V:
“I actually can’t stand V’s voice. I don’t like his voice.”
“I actually don’t know what V’s voice sounds like.”
General BTS comments:
“I get Jin and V mixed up. Or J-Hope. I dunno.”
They soon changed topics and started talking about G-Friend:
“Sickeningly soft and sweet (in response to ‘I thought G-Friend was getting more mature, fierce, strong…but they went a little more softer, sweeter.’).”
“They’re just there, coasting.”
“[G-Friend is] releasing the same thing every comeback.”
“Probably for pervy old men (in response to ‘They’re making the music they want to make.’). Little school girls, up there, twirling. I mean, they were wearing like school girl-looking outfits, doing their little weird formations as usual.”
Netizens voiced their displeasure on multiple social media channels:
Another user, @itsherbts, drafted a list of reasons why the podcast had been so hurtful to A.R.M.Y:
Essentially, many fans feel that the hosts merely profess to be BTS and G-Friend fans but have only done so to gain views, followers, and attention. K-pop lovers have generally been cautious of the American media’s coverage of the genre, and for a show that claims to support Korean bands give off the perception that they don’t give said groups the respect they feel is deserved. Perhaps Asian Junkie sums it up best:
“While the comments aren’t necessarily worth getting crazy over in a vacuum, in conjunction with how far these Western publications always go to brown-nosing the big Asian fandoms for their power, there’s an understandable betrayal aspect in the backlash as well. It’s one thing to have always been honest and forthright about whatever thoughts they had, but it’s another to write glorified press releases for the companies of the groups, attempt to form deep connections with the group’s fandom, and then throw disrespect on the groups for laughs the moment the message hasn’t been carefully edited or conceived.”
Of the three hosts, Benjamin is the only one to respond to the incident, tweeting his thoughts on September 22: