Just before BTS was snubbed for an award at the Grammys on Sunday for the second year in a row, an exasperated Jungkook responded to a social media user who questioned why he was “always talking in Korean.”
The superstar K-pop group’s youngest member was answering a series of questions from followers through his Instagram Stories on Saturday. Most of the questions were initially asked and answered in Korean until one unnamed user chided him for speaking in his native tongue.
“Why u always talking in Korean language plz talk in English because international army’s are watching u (sic)” the question read.
Jungkook read the question out loud and shouted in English, “I know! But –” before switching again to Korean. “I want to be able to! I want to be able to speak English fluently too!”
“Sorry!” he said defeatedly in English. “I don’t speak English very well.”
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A clip of the response went viral on TikTok, with many users commenting to say the Instagram Stories request was an unreasonable expectation of the Korean singer. “They really asked why a Korean man speaks Korean,” read one of the top comments.
On Sunday, BTS’ fandom Army erupted in furor on social media after the K-pop group lost in their nominated category at the Grammy Awards for the second year in a row.
But the frustration extended beyond the loss, as fans wondered why a portion of their airtime during the awards ceremony was spent explaining how the members learned English. Grammys host Trevor Noah sat down with the group and asked leader RM if sitcom “Friends” had helped him learn English — a point fans say has been brought up many times in previous interviews.
Given the groundbreaking success of BTS, fans were left wondering why the focus continues to stay on the international K-pop group’s English language skills.