On November 19, Big Hit Entertainment has shared an update on BTS’s official fan cafe titled, “Notice regarding status of legal actions pertaining to the violation of our artists’s rights.”
The agency had announced in 2016 that it would be seeking legal action to protect BTS and provided updates in 2017 and in June of this year.
Their most recent update reads as follows:
“Hello. This is Big Hit Entertainment. We wish to notify you on the status of our legal action against posts related to BTS.
“In June, we spoke of our legal course of action against malicious netizens who leave malicious posts that attack our artists. We also collected evidence through Big Hit’s official e-mail address.
“From June 15 to late October, we received approximately 41,000 e-mails. There are approximately 70,000 cases (some repeated) made regarding the group and each artist. We have sought legal counsel and brought charges against those who have gone beyond simply stating their opinions and instead partake in actions such as malicious slander, hateful comments, spreading of false information, personal attacks, and defamation in a continuous manner that gravely violates the rights of our artists.
“We have also sought legal action against netizens who impersonated an employee of our agency and spread false information and posts. We plan to act swiftly and strongly against malicious netizens through hiring a professional law firm that specializes in this field. In order to protect the rights of our artists and our agency, we plan to pursue full legal action with no settlements or reduced sentences for the people who create and spread malicious slander and false information, even if it takes a long time to complete the process.
“We will continue to provide updates on the situation. We ask for the full cooperation of fans.”
Big Hit Personally Apologizes To Atomic Bomb Victims Association In Korea
On November 16, Big Hit Entertainment gave an official apology to atomic bomb victims from Hapcheon, South Gyeongsang Province in Korea.
70 percent of Korean atomic bomb victims hailed from Hapcheon and many survivors of the atomic bomb settled in this county after returning from Hiroshima following the war. Due to this, Hapcheon has been called “the Hiroshima of Korea.”
Big Hit’s operations representative Lee Jin Hyung visited the Hapcheon Atomic Bomb Museum at 1 p.m. KST this day and held a private meeting with around 10 officials from the Korea Atomic Bombs Victim Association to apologize.
During the private discussion, Lee Jin Hyung reportedly stated, “Because there was a high chance that the victims were hurt [by the incident], we thought that it was our duty to personally contact them. Although it wasn’t our intention, if there were any victims hurt by the [t-shirt], we deeply apologize.”
The operations representative continued, “This isn’t a meeting intended for the media, but one that was held to meet the association and victims in person.”
Following the private meeting, the association gave an official statement by saying, “The atomic bomb victims understand and sympathize with the series of events.”
Association leader Lee Gyu Yeol commented, “After making an issue out of the BTS member’s shirt depicting an atomic bombing, Japan — the war crime perpetuators — are cosplaying as if they were the only country in the world affected by atomic bombs, rather than apologizing.”
He continued, “I can’t hide my astonishment at how some of the thoughtless Japanese media with no sense of history are trying to halt BTS’s broadcast appearances, showing their hypocritical attitude, instead of trying to construct a public sentiment where [its citizens] can reflect over their country’s history of aggression.”
He also added, “Instead of thinking that we achieved independence due to the atomic bomb, I’d like if we all thought about the inhumane nature of atomic bombs. I hope Japanese authorities and media do not mislead or distort public sentiment and refrain from interfering with BTS’s innocent activities.”
He concluded, “[They] should also refrain from using the apology from BTS’s agency to encourage anti-Korean public sentiments.”
Previously, Big Hit Entertainment had released an official statement about the controversies surrounding BTS. They gave explanations for various clothing items worn by members in the past that included imagery of an atomic bomb and a Nazi symbol, and stated that they would apologize to both atomic bomb victim associations in Japan and Korea and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Simon Wiesenthal Center Reveals And “Welcomes” Apology From Big Hit Entertainment
The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced on November 13 in a brief post titled “Wiesenthal Center Welcomes K-Pop Group’s Apology For Incidents Offensive To Jewish And Japanese Victims Of WWII” that Big Hit Entertainment has sent them an apology and that the center “welcomed” it. The center included an image capture of the apology, which you can find below.
In the apology, Big Hit wrote:
Big Hit Entertainment is aware of the current incident surrounding our artist. The artist was seen wearing a hat that we understand was deeply offensive in a 2014 magazine photoshoot, given to him from a collection of the magazine’s stylist. Big Hit Entertainment is deeply conscious of our responsibility, as it is no excuse that we failed to screen the matter and regret that it happened. We will continue to educate ourselves, be more sensitive to such matters, and protect our artist from such incidents and the implications they may carry. We sincerely apologize to anyone who took offense in regards. It is worth noting that the artist has shared a message recently at the UN, which demonstrated their consistent beliefs that loving yourself and love for others are of primary importance in the world now, and that been a global message for the artist. Both Big Hit and the artists hope to continue spreading that message and share love for all humankind.
Again, thanks for your time and attention.
Source: @soompi, naver via soompi, Yonhap News via soompi, wiesenthal via soompi