Members of the South Korean pop group BTS spoke out Sunday against anti-Asian racism after their first in-person concert since the pandemic.
“When we talk about Asian hate, our path, all the awards and our music, we just hope that this can truly help every Asian in the world, especially who live in the countries abroad,” Kim Nam-Joon, known as RM, said at a news conference at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. “If there is something that we can help ... we’re always open. We’ll try to expand the variety and stop the discrimination and racism.”
BTS performed two sold-out shows in Los Angeles over the weekend as part of its “Permission to Dance on Stage” concert series.
The seven members of BTS — RM, Jin, V, J-Hope, Suga, Park Ji-min and Jungkook — also expressed gratitude for their fans’ support and the awards they have received, including artist of the year at the American Music Awards and their second Grammy nomination.
The concerts, which were sold out for months, were the band’s first shows since 2019. “Seeing the stadium filled with all the fans yesterday got me really emotional beyond words,” RM said.
It’s not the first time BTS has spoken about the racism many Asians faced during the coronavirus pandemic. Band members this year addressed the discrimination they faced, saying in a statement on Twitter that some experiences made them feel “powerless.” “We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason,” the post said.
BTS has also supported other social movements, including Black Lives Matter, to which it donated $1 million in June 2020. “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. #BlackLivesMatter,” the group tweeted. Within 24 hours of the donation, BTS fans had matched it.
The BTS tour continues with concerts Wednesday and Thursday in Los Angeles.