Music

“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."

BTS Channel 9 photo

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.

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.

— stan gg’s y’all (@tofuhyunie) June 19, 2019

Some fans are even contacting Channel 9 directly and demanding a response.

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.”

A hashtag calling for Williamson to be fired has also taken off.

Channel 9 are yet to respond to the backlash.