“This Is Embarrassing”: Channel 9 Is Being Slammed For A “Trash” Segment On BTS
"When I first heard something Korean had exploded in America, I got worried," Jimmy Carr says in the segment. "So it could have been worse. But not much worse."
Channel 9 are under fire for airing an insensitive and tone deaf segment about South Korean pop act BTS as part of their program 20 To One.
BTS are one of the biggest pop groups in the world right now, a seven-member collective that have exploded into a global phenomenon, amassing an army of dedicated followers in the process.
20 To One, on the other hand, is an “infotainment” show that airs on Channel 9 and features comedians and public figures commenting on list-based rankings of pop culture phenomena. The former is, for the record, considerably better known than the latter.
The two cultural entities collided when 20 To One included BTS as part of their “global crazes” countdown. Ranking the band as number 18, co-hosts Erin Molan and Nick Cody called BTS “the biggest band you’ve never heard of” — which is reasonably disingenuous, given that the band’s third record, Love Yourself: Tear, has gone gold, and the group is widely recognised as crossing a range of cross-cultural and demographic boundaries. Watch a clip of the segment below.
I'm sorry but as an Australian this is embarrassing. Racist jokes and mocking their entire career just don't cut it. And I'm pre sure you don't just ask randos if their gay and thinks it's okay. Congrats on triggering a whole community #channel9apologize pic.twitter.com/BIox8LYCrq
— stan gg's y'all (@tofuhyunie) June 19, 2019
From there, the co-hosts balked at the fact “only one band member actually speaks English”, before cutting to an interview with comedian Jimmy Carr.
“When I first heard something Korean had exploded in America, I got worried,” Carr says in the clip. “So it could have been worse. But not much worse.”
The segment also contains an interview with Australian Idol finalist Rob Mills, who calls their singing “passable”, and a brief, soundless clip of BTS speaking at the UN, delivering a presentation about bullying and hope that the 20 To One presenters dismiss as probably being about “hair products.”
Understandably, BTS fans are furious with the segment, and are taking to social media to express their disappointment. The Australian BTS fanpage on Twitter is calling for Channel 9 to apologise, and calling parts of the show “extreme defamation.” Meanwhile, the #channel9apologize hashtag has taken off, clocking up nearly 150,000 tweets at the time of writing.
Tonight on your program you featured the Korean boy band, @BTS_twt, in your countdown. Many Australian ARMY anticipated it at first, only to be extremely disappointed by your report. You described us as crazy fans, purposely chose clips of BTS voices cracking, +
— AUSTRALIA BTS (@australiabts) June 19, 2019
— sophia ✧ (@promise9504) June 19, 2019
It is highly regretful that no one in your organization actually considered your content about BTS is undisputably problematic, showcasing your racist and sexist mindset and xenophobia. This is 2019 and it is unacceptable.
— 🌸VERNAL🌸봄(Bom)🌸 (@Vernal_Bom) June 19, 2019
— stan gg’s y’all (@tofuhyunie) June 19, 2019
One can not like something & still not be a racist xenophobic dick about it. Felt so uncomfortable watching ur news segment about BTS I wanted to vomit. Is this a joke? You’re responsible for your image and still did shit like that willingly. A cancelling today #Channel9Apologize
— wiktoria (@yoongispuppy) June 19, 2019
Some fans are even contacting Channel 9 directly and demanding a response.
i was absolutely disgusted at @20toOne‘s segment tonight about BTS so i wrote this letter and sent it to channel 9 and free tv australia (the industry body representing all of Australia’s commercial free-to-air television broadcasters) #Channel9Apologize @Channel9 pic.twitter.com/HmFDjXnVQk
— li 💜 (@miniminyoongi) June 19, 2019
The Australian comedian Alex Williamson has also become involved in the story. Williamson was not on 20 To One, but tweeted his support of the show when the backlash first began, writing, “Shut the fuck up cunt it ain’t racist they just don’t give a fuck about boy bands who are designed solely to extract $ from the hip pocket of 14yo’s.”
Shut the fuck up cunt it ain’t racist they just don’t give a fuck about boy bands who are designed solely to extract $ from the hip pocket of 14yo’s. I’ll always revel in the genuine talents of South Korean professors such as Cheon Jinwoo. Fuck these cuntz. https://t.co/6dP7YcKB97
— Alex Williamson (@AlexWilliamson8) June 19, 2019
A hashtag calling for Williamson to be fired has also taken off.
Channel 9 are yet to respond to the backlash.