Anyone who's been here long enough know that I am an ARMY. I don't try to hide it, although I do report on all news BTS, even if the news is bad. However, lately the bad has been so ridiculous that I just had to write this op-ed.
As all ARMYs should know by now, BTS is getting hit with a lot of hate lately. Sadly enough this isn't something new for us. The same thing happened with HYYH parts 1 and 2, except that time it was sajaegi issues. In Korea, unlike the international fandom where many fans are fans of multiple groups, a person is usually exclusive to one fandom. And intensely exclusive, many times. I go on Korean portal sites all the time and lately it just feels like BTS vs everyone else.
The top Korean portals are flooded with accusing BTS of supposed plagiarism. The biggest voted posts always include a negative BTS post, while the ones trying to defend BTS almost never trend. A hate tag trended on Korean Twitter. On one of the biggest Korean search portals, when you searched BTS, the suggested keywords all had to do with plagiarism and the third drop down suggestion was on plagiarism (thankfully, this is no more).
And while I'd like to say it's okay, ARMYs are there for BTS, the truth of the matter is that the boys' primary language is Korean, and they definitely do see all that's going on. Jin, especially, who uses Internet slang frequently even when speaking out loud, is on portal sites. In fact, he tweeted once when a hate tag was trending, and wrote, "There isn't long until the concert, so everyone be happy happy, haha", and many ARMYs had to sadly admit he probably had seen everything that was going on.
It's ridiculous. All of it.
There's plenty of proof and counter posts going around, so I won't bother translating them myself and just put my own thoughts here. The plagiarism accusations are getting out of hand. People are pointing at school uniforms, at hair color, at a maze, at a grass field, and at even a hot air balloon. Because none of these things were ever done before, right? (Sarcasm, in case you missed that). People take a split-second screenshot from an MV that's 4 minutes long and yell about plagiarism, take one piece of a large concept and call it plagiarism.
Frankly, I also find it a little ironic that Koreans are saying something about similar looking outfits, because once Koreans like something, everyone does it. Once I got a haircut in Korea and asked the stylist specifically not to make it look like the one everyone else had. She gave me the hairstyle. I got on the subway and literally every girl had my hair color and my hair length. And this isn't just non-celebrities. Remember when everyone used to wear Ssur's comme des fukdown, or Pigalle, or Off White, or HBA? Yeah, literally every idol was wearing those brands and wearing it similarly.
On top of that, there's the random Gucci hate. Okay, first of all, let me get this out there, just because: I don't care if that's Gucci; it looks ugly. Along with this Gucci business came into question every other brand BTS was wearing, such as Raf Simmons. No matter that people working in fashion magazines with professional experience and knowledge had listed BTS as wearing these brands. Of course someone sitting down in front of a computer screen with internet knows best. It's true that while some of BTS' clothing has been clarified to be real (ie Rap Monster's jacket), others have yet to be clarified to be genuine name brands. But.... honestly who cares? Who cares if they're wearing brand names or not. As far as I'm concerned, it all looks weird, but that's for fans to giggle and tease at, not someone who isn't paying any money for an album to hate on.
Now people are also pulling in lyric plagiarism. They pull one line from an entire song and babble about how similar the one line sounds. A two second line from a 3-and-a-half minute song. First of all, if you're treating the same subject matter, there's a chance you're going to think of similar things. It becomes problematic if an entire section, or maybe even a few lines sound similar. One line - four words, maybe five - that seem to sound a bit like each other happens. Not to mention that of course, they completely fail to acknowledge that Rap Monster is someone who admits and apologizes for a mistake when he realizes he made the error.
And before people start pointing fingers solely at k-netz, stop, because I see plenty of i-netz doing the exact same thing. Not to mention that a bad habit to pretend nothing is wrong when something is wrong. Just because you don't want to see it and hear it doesn't mean everyone else doesn't see it and hear it, and more importantly, BTS sees it and hears it.
The answer is not to ignore it, not to counter it with more hate and calling people names, but realizing exactly what's happening, knowing that the accusations can't be true, and showing BTS how much we love them.