11:02 am - 07/14/2019

Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Tour coming to Saudi Arabia



source: BigHitEnt

well, that was a surprise
sciencebottle 14th-Jul-2019 12:19 pm (UTC)
I don't feel very good about this. I am happy for the fans and I don't blame them for being excited and I also don't blame the guys, but....still. You cannot ignore the nuances involved in performing in a country under a regime such as Saudi Arabia's, and while there is no way to say that any other country is necessarily more good (ie the US- there is definitely some pretty fucked up shit happening there), there are still very palpable differences in freedom of expression and protest that directly contrast with the message the band brings about. Not to mention...there will still be money that goes towards the government from their concert.


Also, definitely not here for the "Let's not make this political!! It's a kpop concert gosh" message that I've been seeing around social media. So BTS can be made UN ambassadors (The UN being an inter-governmental initiative for peace) for a great cause, but when their company decides to perform in a country under a theocracy we suddenly can't bring political discourse into it? This is worth discussing, and not just some way to rag on the members themselves.

Edited at 2019-07-14 12:27 pm (UTC)
torontok 14th-Jul-2019 12:27 pm (UTC)
You said what I felt but much better
nekokonneko 14th-Jul-2019 12:39 pm (UTC)
This absolutely is worth discussing. I especially think it's worth discussing the fact that this kind of discussion is taking place at all. Like, THAAD has currently smothered kpop activity in China, but before that, it was discussed without moralising of the groups and soloists promoting there despite its human rights issues. And even now when the idea of it gets idly tossed around, it's not framed in the context of spitting in the face of the Uyghurs.
revedesnuages 14th-Jul-2019 03:11 pm (UTC)
I think it’s a disparity in media reporting. There seem to be more western articles that talk about THAAD, Huawei, etc. than the Uyghur internment camps in Xinjiang, that a lot of people don’t seem to know about it but it should be something that is discussed if an entertainer decides to perform China.

I think BTS/Bighit do open themselves up to more criticism because the image they are trying to push. When the love yourself/speak yourself/end violence message is at odds with the company’s actions naturally that’s going to raise some criticism.
revedesnuages 14th-Jul-2019 12:41 pm (UTC)
IA. Considering BTS’ partnership with UNICEF’s End Violence campaign and the message of the tour is ‘Speak Yourself’, this is at odds with the image they’re trying to portray. They might not be playing directly for the royal family responsible for the death of journalists, but the costs of the concert will still benefit the Saudi Arabian government.

Edited at 2019-07-14 12:49 pm (UTC)
sciencebottle 14th-Jul-2019 12:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Just this year the UN Human rights council rebuked SA for the first time- that brings up some pretty big red flags for me (especially since BTS are UN ambassadors). It seems like really really bad timing on BH's part.

Edited at 2019-07-14 01:00 pm (UTC)
nekobot 14th-Jul-2019 01:59 pm (UTC)
BH don't care about timing, they only care about money, so this is a dream location for a concert for them. I feel like BH has been scaling back on their "socially conscious" image promo anyway after they realised they don't need it to sell and to be honest which how hypocritical it was I'm actually glad they're slowly taking that out of the mix - I can't put this event location on BTS directly and am not at all surprised but still disgusted. It's almost more funny how oblivious their company is/chooses to be to general public opinion when choosing partners outside of Korea than it is shocking.

As for this being a chance for Arab fans to finally see them: yes it's nice for the (rich, privileged) ones living there, but that will never be an argument for this as it's not even remotely a concern for them. There's a reason why they will show up in the Middle East but won't show their faces in North Africa.

Edited at 2019-07-14 01:59 pm (UTC)
sciencebottle 14th-Jul-2019 02:01 pm (UTC)
You've hit the nail on the head, I completely agree.
infj23 14th-Jul-2019 05:57 pm (UTC)
Yep. Using the fact that BTS promotes itself as socially conscious is a weak argument these days (I'd also argue being an UN ambassador is, too). Over the past few months, BH has been pursuing several business deals for short-term financial security rather than executing a long-term operational plan. Several decisions, announcements, and releases seem like desperate ploys. It's almost as if they didn't learn anything from the attempted collaboration with Yasushi Akimoto.

While I've questioned decisions BH has made, this is the first time I've questioned the direction of the company. It seems like a whack-a-mole strategy and planning right now.
nekobot 14th-Jul-2019 06:07 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much where I stand with this, being more shocked about the utter disregard for their brand/image than the actual performing in SA part. It might be a weird position to take because it sounds like bad behaviour only matters when it's broadcasted to the world but the fact that Big Hit can't be bothered to be seen PRETENDING (not even making a true attempt, but at least acting in a way where it seems like they give a shit about other people thinking they are trying) to be consistent or concerned about anything other than getting the max amount of money with no limit on integrity is what gets me most of all. You could argue that all sorts of countries deserve critique but you can't argue against the fact that there is so much negative attention on SA right now with no non-financial incentive for specifically performing there that it's absolutely impossible that they're being sent oblivious to what's happening and for any other reason than to keep the money train going.
infj23 14th-Jul-2019 10:47 pm (UTC)
BH really had an opportunity to differentiate itself from the other K-ent companies. This just solidifies there is nothing special about them other than receiving the hand of luck. Even the decision to ship TXT off to the US so quickly only underscores the lack of focus and direction.
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