Netizens have submitted a Blue House petition asking that BTS Jungkook's Order of Cultural Merit medal be revoked in light of his involvement in the Itaewon social distancing controversy.
On May 18th, a petition was submitted to the Blue House with the title "Please revoke BTS Jungkook's Order of Cultural Merit medal". The petition states: "Big Hit Entertainment artist BTS's Jungkook and his three idol friends went to an Itaewon nightlife eatery while many people in the country are trying to overcome the global Coronavirus epidemic." It also writes that his actions "disregards the efforts of the public and officials who have tried to overcome the virus so far, and does not match the purpose of the medal which is awarded to those with outstanding achievements that contributed to national development." The petition concludes, asking for Jungkook's medal to revoked.
Jungkook, along with NCT's Jaehyun, ASTRO's Cha Eunwoo, and SEVENTEEN's Mingkyu are currently under heavy netizen criticism after Dispatch reported that the four idols were present at an establishment where a Coronavirus positive individual was present during the social distancing period. Big Hit Entertainment has since made a statement acknowledging Jungkook's presence at Itaewon and apologized, stating they would make sure something like this wouldn't happen again.
BTS was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit medal in 2018 for the contributions to Korean culture and the spread of K-pop throughout the world.