- Title: The mobilising power of the BTS ARMY
- Date: 15th July 2020
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (FILE - JANUARY 21, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF BTS ON RED CARPET AT THE GOLDEN DISK AWARDS LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - OCTOBER 8, 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BTS SPEAKING DURING AN INTERVIEW WHILE ON TOUR IN LONDON LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 1, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FANS WALKING INTO ARENA AT WEMBLEY STADIUM FAN WALKING PAST WAVING TO CAMERA FANS STANDING AROUND AND TALKING FAN HOLDING BAG WITH K-POP STAR'S FACE ON IT FANS LAUGHING AND TEASING EACH OTHER 18-YEAR-OLD MALAYSIAN FAN, ERINNA FEISOL HOLDING UP HER BTS ARMY BOMB (LIGHTSTICK) CROWDS OF FANS ARRIVING FOR BTS CONCERT QUEUE OF FANS VARIOUS OF FANS ARRIVING AT VENUE SOUTH KOREAN FAN, NECO CAMACHO DRESSED LIKE A K-POP BAND MEMBER FANS ARRIVING NAGOYA, JAPAN (FILE - DECEMBER 4, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS K-POP FANS IN CROWD AT STAGE EVENT FOR THE ANNUAL MNET ASIAN MUSIC AWARDS LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - FEBRUARY 10, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BTS ON RED CARPET AT THE GRAMMYS LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - DECEMBER 6, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BTS POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS AT THE RED CARPET AT 102.7 KIIS FM'S 2019 JINGLE BALL LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 1, 2019) (REUTERS) FANS CHEERING IN STADIUM AS BTS TALK ON STAGE FANS SCREAMING AT CONCERT FANS FILMING WITH PHONES BTS MEMBER ON STAGE SAYING (UPSOT) (English): "Are you ready to have more fun?" / FANS SCREAMING BTS MEMBER TALKING ON STAGE DURING CONCERT
- Embargoed: 29th July 2020 13:18
- Keywords: BTS ARMY MatchAMillion South Korean K-pop band BTS
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: Various
- Topics: Celebrities,Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA002CMX8QBX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:BTS, the South Korean supergroup, is known for churning out hits and energising a growing global fan base.
Early in June, those fans - collectively called ARMY - put their energy behind an online campaign called #MatchAMillion to raise money for social justice causes in the United States. It hauled in $1 million in roughly one day, matching the donation of the band itself to Black Lives Matter.
This accomplishment, ARMY members say, shows that being a fan of BTS is about more than buying records. It also illustrates how the fan base extends into older demographics, tying their spending clout to a generation that is internet-savvy and able to harness the power of social media.
"We're buying cars and selling out stadiums; you can't just do that with some overexcited girls," said Erika Overton, 40, one of the administrators of One In An ARMY, the fan group that organised the #MatchAMillion fundraising effort. "This is not just a fan group to enjoy music - it's an economic force, and something you can't really dismiss as something trivial."
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/309qC6P in an external browser to see an interactive graphic on how BTS ARMY raised money for social justice causes in the United States.)
Some Black ARMY members say BTS has a responsibility to continue publicly supporting the racial justice protests that affect them. And BTS has also publicly acknowledged their music is based on hip-hop and R&B - genres that were created and popularised by Black American artists.
But others are concerned the wider fanbase's attention to these racial issues may be fleeting.
"When people care - like seriously care - they're going to put action behind that and not just words. And to actually see action behind it? That made me wake up and have hope," said Nico Edward, who runs a BTS reaction video YouTube channel.
"People lash out and do the hashtags and stuff and that's fine to raise awareness, but it usually, historically, dies out and people's attention moves to other things. But we're still dealing with this every single day."
(Production: Lisa Giles-Keddie)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None