Korean boyband group BTS received racist treatment from Matthias Matuschik, German Radio Bayern 3 broadcaster. Matusik made a clear racist statement following BTS’s appearance in a special MTV Unplugged episode on February 23. Fans of BTS and the Asian community have been enraged by this incident.
In that episode, BTS, one of them sang the cover song Fix You from Coldplay.
Apart from ‘Fix You,’ at MTC, Unplugged, BTS also sang ‘Telepathy,’ ‘Blue & Gray,’ ‘Dynamite,’ and ‘Life Goes On’ from their 2020 album.
Overall, this episode of MTV Unplugged is a celebration of BTS’s landmark work from the past year. ‘Dynamite’ became BTS’s first song to debut at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the group became the first South Korean group to reach Number 1 on the charts. This is a festive celebration of BTS’s recent successes as they snatch a nomination for the 2021 Grammy Award for the song “Dynamite.” The 63rd annual Grammy Awards will air on March 14, and Grammy-nominated BTS for Best Pop Duo / Group Performance.
The comments that started it all
After the MTV Unplugged episode aired, Matuschik said he didn’t like BTS’s Fix You cover. Then came out racist and hateful statements.
He compared the band to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and described BTS as an ugly virus that hopefully will have a vaccine too soon. Besides, he also said that for the punishment of the cover of the song Fix You, which was bad. He added that BTS would be on vacation in North Korea for the next 20 years.
“But BTS recently appeared on MTV Unplugged. For one boy band to do ‘unplugged’ has become a paradox in itself. Then they even bragged by bringing back Fix You (Coldplay). I call this blasphemy. This is too much,” he said.
Suddenly, Matuschik’s racist and hateful statement drew an international reaction from fans. Shortly after that, Matuschik and the Bayern 3 Radio station apologized even though they were considered insincere.
“It is the hallmark of this show as well as the presenter to express his opinion clearly, openly, and flawlessly. But in this case, he overstepped the limits in his choice of words. As a result of trying to convey his opinion in a way that was ironically exaggerated with excessive anger, he hurt the feelings of many BTS fans. But when he assured us this was not his intention at all. He just wanted to express his frustration about the cover version mentioned above,” said Bayern 3 in a statement.
“This is his personal opinion, regardless of the origin and cultural background of the band. You don’t have to share this feeling, and the way of expression is quite rude.”
Fans and fellow artists are defending BTS. Coming to BTS’s defense are several worldly famous musicians like Halsey, Steve Aoki, Lauv, and American DJ MAX.
BTS is one of the hardest working and most humble groups in the industry. They deserve all the success they’ve earned. Hearing such hateful words used against them by the radio host at Bayern 3 made me sick. The hate to them and the Asian community as a whole is unacceptable
— MAX (@MAXMusic) February 26, 2021
Meanwhile, Matuschik called that what he said during the live sequence was not racist at all. “I’m not against South Korea; you can’t accuse me of xenophobia just because this boy band is from the South. Korea… I have a car from South Korea. I have the coolest car,” he said defensively.
Regardless, Germany’s Bavarian 3 radio announcer or disc jockey was still on the way to a more open and sincere apology to BTS and even the entire Asian community for making racist comments. Even though Bayern 3 and Matthias have released an apology saying it was an opinion and a joke.
“I would be just as upset if (German or other country bands cover Fix You). I underestimate the strength of the fans who are behind BTS,” said Matthias.
Then, he described ARMY as a group of fanatic followers and music money machines; he also accused them of twisting his statement. Getting accused of racism, according to Matthias, is very out of place.
“I am deeply saddened by the reaction my comments have on my radio program – and first of all: I am very sorry, and I want to apologize unconditionally. In my presentation, I was very disturbed that the boy band BTS covered the song.” Fix You “by Coldplay, which I really appreciate. The nationalities of the seven boys shouldn’t be a problem – mentioning it and making contact with the virus is a total mistake,” he wrote.
“There is no problem with South Korea. You can’t say I’m xenophobic just because of a boy band from South Korea. I have a car from there, the best car I have driven,” said Matthias Matuschik.