A billboard of BTS’ Jungkook has been taken down in the Pakistani city of Gujranwala after complaints that it “promote[s] homosexuality”.
On September 1, a fan of the K-pop idol had commissioned a billboard of the singer to be put to at an intersection of Gujranwala, Pakistan in celebration of the BTS member’s 24th birthday.
Shortly after Jungkook’s birthday billboard was installed, fans of the group took to social media to share photos of it. The bright yellow advertisement featured a picture of Jungkook, as well as the phrases “Happy 24th Birthday” and “Jungkook BTS Gujranwala ARMY (the name of the boyband’s fandom)”.
Jungkook's Birthday Billboard in Gujranwala, Pakistan ♥️ @BTS_twt pic.twitter.com/7QWGZpT4Tw
— Jungkook SNS🐰🎂 (@Jungkook_SNS) September 1, 2021
However, a local politician soon intervened to remove the advertisement after it was brought to his attention, according to a report by VICE. Within hours, provincial assembly candidate Furqan Aziz Butt, who is also a member of the Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami, had the advertisement removed after he had received “a lot of complaints” from people.
“There was so much commotion,” he told VICE. “There are young people in this city. This group has a negative influence on them and encourages them to behave in wrong activities. They promote homosexuality.”
“Why was this put up here? They don’t have a brand name here nor do they sell products here,” the politician added. “The people who put it up call themselves the ‘Gujranwala ARMY’. There’s only the Pakistan army here.”
Fans have reacted with disappointment at the removal of the billboard and comments made by Butt, taking to Twitter to trend the hashtags such as “#PakBTSARMYsAreStrong” and “#PakistanLovesBTS”.
Some have also used the popularity of these hashtags to shine light on the charity drives that have been organised by Pakistani BTS fans to aide their local communities in the past year.
💜 8TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY ! 💜
ARMYs got together again with @ARMYsForCharity and collected 102,000 PKR and support 75 women, Children & the elderly
bought rations for panah shelter home & ammol zindagi old age home, also arranging a party?
Use hashtag ➙ #PakBTSARMYsAreStrong pic.twitter.com/9TrjT0tnOT
— BTS PAKISTAN STREAMING⟭⟬⁷|🇵🇰🧈💖 (@btspkstreaming) September 5, 2021
Many of these include donations to several causes and organisations such as hospitals, shelters and old age homes.
Last week, the Guinness World Records announced that BTS have collected 23 world records across music and social media, earning themselves a place in the publication’s annual Hall Of Fame. The boyband will also have a two-page spread in the upcoming print edition of the Guinness World Records 2022, alongside the online version.