Halsey Condemns 'Disgusting' Comments About BTS
Halsey has added her voice to the chorus of outrage over comments about BTS by a German radio personality.
In an Instagram Story last Friday, Halsey – who collaborated with BTS on 2019’s “Boy With Luv” – said she was “horrified” by the words of Matthias Matuschik of Bavarian station Bayern3.
“Racism and xenophobia cannot be thinly veiled as ‘on air humour.’ Irresponsible and disgusting statements in a time where hate speech and violent behaviour towards Asian communities are skyrocketing,” she wrote. “This is unacceptable. I hope a better apology to BTS, and the Asian communities across the world, is on its way.”
Matuschik was called out last week for sharing his thoughts on the cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” that BTS performed during their MTV Unplugged session.
According to a translation of his rant on YouTube, Matuschik compared the K-pop group to SARS, calling BTS “an abbreviation for some virus that we’ll hopefully have a vaccine for soon as well.”
Matuschik said covering the song was “blasphemy” and “wickedness” and joked that BTS will be punished by having to vacation “in North Korea for the next 20 years!”
He tried to deflect accusations of xenophobia by declaring: “I have a car from South Korea. It’s the slickest car ever.”
The station, in a statement, said its host “overshot the mark in his choice of words” and did not mean to “hurt the feelings of the BTS fans.” It followed up with a statement in which it apologized for the comments.
Matuschik told BuzzFeed Germany he underestimated the “fanatical followers of a musical cash machine” that is BTS.
Although there has been no official reaction from BTS, other music stars expressed support for the group on social media. Singer Lauv tweeted that he stands behind BTS “and everyone continuously effected by racist remarks as hurtful as what we heard on Bayern 3. no one should have to endure this and together we must stand up and stop it.”
Jonah Marais of Why Don’t We tweeted: “This is beyond unacceptable. the fact that he thought it’d be funny to compare them to COVID is disgustingly racist. the asian community is already dealing with so much BS. this has to stop. choose love.”
Steve Aoki called Matuschik’s comments “absolutely unacceptable.” He tweeted: “I stand with @bts_BigHit to condemn hate of any kind and stop this kind of prejudice wherever we can. We must stand together. Spread love not hate.”
Zara Larsson opined: “This is a bigger issue than one racist radio host speaking about BTS. This is about racism against Asians and xenophobia. we must all speak up, which is the bare minimum, to show people like him that his words have consequences.”
Columbia Records posted a statement insisting it “stands with the Asian Community and condemns all forms of racism and xenophobia. We must all work together to strive for racial justice.”
Listen to music from Halsey & BTS