K-pop boyband BTS, who recently met President Joe Biden to speak about anti-Asian hate crimes, reportedly paid for the trip to the White House themselves.
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The Korean supergroup was at the White House on May 31 to discuss the issue of “Asian inclusion and representation” and their platform “as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world” with US President Joe Biden.
It has since been reported that the boyband paid for their own journey to the White House, according to Washington Post contributor Soo Youn. The journalist claims that paying for their own trip was “something [the boyband] wanted to do”, citing unnamed sources from the White House.
Oh, I asked if BTS paid for the trip or the WH paid and it was BTS. They paid their own way, this was something they wanted to do, per WH sources.
— Soo Youn (@lalasoo) May 31, 2022
At the press conference honoring their arrival in Washington D.C., leader RM spoke first and said it was “a great honour to be invited to the White House today to discuss the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion, and diversity”.
“We’re devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes including Asian American hate crimes, to put a stop [to] this and support the cause we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again,” added Jimin.
In a video posted to Biden’s Twitter the following day, the president commended the group’s efforts to combat anti-Asian hate. “A lot of our Asian American friends have been subject to real discrimination,” Biden said in the video. “Hate only hides. When good people talk about it, and say how bad it is, it goes down. So thank you.”
“People care a lot about what you say, and what you’re doing is good for all people. It’s not just your great talent, it’s the message you’re communicating. It matters,” he added.