BTS’ management Big Hit Entertainment have responded after Jewish human rights group has condemned K-Pop giants BTS, after photos emerged that showed them posing in Nazi style hats.
In a statement, the Simon Wiesenthal Center accused the band of “mocking the past”, only a week after they dropped from Japanese TV over a t-shirt that appeared to depict the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
The latest controversy comes after photos from a 2015 photoshoot were discovered. The photos showed the group posing in caps that bear the symbol of a notorious SS Units that controlled concentration camps.
“Wearing a T-shirt in Japan mocking the victims of the … A-bomb, is just the latest incident of this band mocking the past”, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Los Angeles group.
— ツブ焼き (@k_komejun) November 12, 2018
The statement also included direct links to photos of the group posing at Berlin’s Holocaust memorial and footage of them waving flags that bore an apparent resemblance to the swastika.
“It goes without saying that this group, which was invited to speak at the UN, owes the people of Japan and the victims of the Nazism an apology”, said Cooper.
“But that is not enough. It is clear that those designing and promoting this group’s career are too comfortable with denigrating the memory of the past. The result is that young generations in Korea and around the world are more likely to identify bigotry and intolerance as being ‘cool’ and help erase the lessons of history. The management of this group, not only the front performers, should publicly apologise.”
The latest controversy comes after band member Jimin faced criticism last week for wearing a t-shirt that appeared to depict the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
The shirt was branded “insulting” by some fans, while others claimed that the inclusion of Korean flags on the garment celebrates the bomb’s role in sparking the eventual independence of the Korean peninsula from Japanese rule.
Now, the band’s management have responded in a lengthy statement posted on Facebook in Korean, English and Japanese, in which they offer their ‘sincerest apologies’, and say that the contentious similarities were not intentional.
[공지] 최근 방탄소년단에 제기된 이슈들에 대한 빅히트엔터테인먼트의 입장안녕하십니까, 빅히트엔터테인먼트입니다.최근 빅히트엔터테인먼트(이하 “빅히트”)의 소속 아티스트 방탄소년단과 관련하여 다양한 이슈들이…
“Big Hit bears all responsibilities for not providing the necessary and careful support to our artist that may have prevented these issues, and we would like to make clear that our artists, especially due to their extensive schedules and the complexities of on-site conditions, are in no way responsible for any of the issues,” it says
Big Hit also say that they have sent a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center “in order to offer explanations and apologies to anyone who may have been distressed or in any way affected.”
The company also claim they have “contacted associations in Japan and Korea representing those affected by the atomic bombings to provide explanations and apologies to anyone who may have been distressed or in any way affected.”