BTS meets Biden at White House & speaks out against anti-Asian hate

They discussed about discrimination against Asian Americans.

Tan Min-Wei | June 01, 2022, 07:27 PM

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South Korean boy band BTS visited the White House and met with American president Joe Biden on May 31 to speak out against the increasing occurrences of anti-Asian violence. 

Band leader RM delivered part of the statement in English, while the other six members delivered their parts in Korean through an interpreter.


Many fans tuned in to see BTS

Thanking the White House for the opportunity to speak out against anti-Asian hate crimes and in favour of Asian American representation and inclusion, they commemorated the final day of Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander heritage month. 

They also thanked their supporters, called the ARMY, and recognised that they came from many nations and backgrounds. Many of their fans had lined up at the White House fence, hoping to catch a glimpse of the band.

Online, many fans on Twitter shared their pride at seeing the band being invited to speak on such an important topic. This White House visit is the most recent of several high profile appearances by the world-famous group. In 2021, BTS performed and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly.  

BTS’s appearance drove a massive increase in viewership of the press briefing, with over 300,000 simultaneous views, and packing the press gallery’s seats and aisles with additional Korean news outlets. One even shouted a message of support as the group was leaving the briefing room. For comparison, the previous press briefing had garnered under 15,000 views.

Biden thanked BTS

Biden’s Twitter account also released an official, minute long video where he welcomes the group the Oval office, and praises them for using their high profile position and influence to speak out against discrimination.

The group then thanked Biden for taking assertive action, highlighting the Covid-19 Hate Crimes act that the U.S. president signed last year. 

The U.S. has experienced rising violence targeted at Asian Americans, made worse in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also experienced a spate of mass shootings, including one at a Texas school, and a racially motivated attack at a supermarket in New York. 

Earlier that day, Biden met with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, where he said he would ask Arden to share her government’s experience with the fallout of mass shootings and their approach to firearms restrictions.

Arden had led New Zealand through a very difficult time when members of New Zealand’s muslim community were targeted during a mass shooting event, prompting Arden’s government to undergo a significant weapons buyback followed by legislation to limit firearms ownership. 

Arden offered her condolences and while noting that the experiences of the U.S. and New Zealand differed dramatically, she would offer whatever support she could. 

Top image via BTS_official/Twitter