Here are some of the worst scandals surrounding BTS that shocked fans and their army and made headlines due to the controversy they created.
BTS is arguably among the biggest pop acts of this decade. In fact, they already have the title of being the biggest K-pop group in the world.
Unfortunately for BTS, this fame means that the members are subjected to more scrutiny and judgement than other K-pop groups.
Haters and detractors are always looking out for bad things about BTS members to discredit them.
The BTS fandom or Army is always there to support their idols but sometimes the controversies get out of hand.
In this article, I’ve listed a few instances of scandals surrounding BTS. From mismanagement complaints to death threats and plagiarism issues, BTS has been embroiled in several controversies since their inception in 2013.
Related: How BTS Started
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Worst Scandals Surrounding BTS
RM Being Accused Of Plagiarism
This is perhaps of the BTS controversies that were easily resolved for all parties. So way back in 2015, a person on Twitter with the handle @wevebeenhere accused RM of copying his song lyrics.
The lyrics in question @wevebeenhere claimed were written by him and another Twitter user called @radiordinary which RM had unlawfully used in a song called “U”.
RM gracefully owned up to his mistake, explaining that he didn’t plagiarize the lyrics but that he often uses books, movies, Instagram quotes, etc. as inspiration. He recognized his mistake in not looking at the source where the quotes came from.
Since then @wevebeenhere has forgiven RM and also issued a return apology himself, saying he’s sorry for causing RM any distress.
All’s well that ends well, eh?
Jungkook Creating Controversy With Let’s Love
Some healthy competition between two Kpop bands may be a good thing. But what happens when fandom rivalries get out of hand and accusations of plagiarism crop up.
Both EXO and BTS have a lot of dedicated fans who are quick to defend their idols. So when some EXO fans accused BTS of copying music, styles, artwork, etc that EXO was using, the BTS Army quickly jumped into action.
They explained that such style was commonly used by many K-pop stars and not EXO in particular and that BTS had every right to use these concepts.
Things came to a head when Jungkook said the phrase “Let’s Love” in conversation with fellow BTS members.
EXO fans felt offended at Jungkook’s use of EXO’s catchphrase and made their ire known.
They started trending a photo of Jungkook inside a funeral wreath on Twitter to express their displeasure.
BTS Army was outraged at this insult to their idol and accused EXO fans of taking things too far and almost threatening Jungkook.
However, this feud between the two fandoms seems to have died down in recent years as both factions understood that EXO and BTS have mutual respect and friendship between them.
Accusations of BTS Doing “Sajaegi” Or Chart Manipulation
BTS might be outselling everyone now, but when the first debuted their success was met with a bit of scrutiny.
When BTS’ single I Need You came out in 2013, it immediately topped the Korean music charts.
But when BTS’ mini-album outsold Big Bang, a lot of fans accused Big Hit Entertainment of manipulating music charts by the bulk purchase of albums themselves.
This would cause BTS to rank top even if the music itself isn’t doing so well.
However, none of these allegations has ever been proven.
Suga and RM Being Accused Of Misogyny
South Korean culture is still somewhat traditional when it comes to women and sexuality. But times are changing and a lot of people are raising their voices against what they feel is the misogynist treatment of women in Korean pop music.
Suga was under fire for putting out a Tweet that was deemed being sexist and promoting violence. He said something along the lines of watching everyone carefully all the time and “taking a hit” when they are not looking.
The phrase could mean “taking a hit” with a camera or hitting someone. Fans thought Suga was being unnecessarily aggressive in this tweet.
Another BTS member that has come under scrutiny for alleged misogyny is RM. He often writes the lyrics to many of BTS’ songs and fans noticed the words to the song “War of Hormones” is a bit sexist.
The song has lyrics that talk about how “women should wear high heels” and how “women are a gift”. This led to allegations of misogyny against RM in 2015.
During this scandal, Big Hit entertainment issued a public apology on behalf of BTS. They also stated that the company would do better in educating BTS on issues with such lyrics and behaviour.
People Sending Death Threats to BTS Members
Now I get passionate fans or “stans” but sometimes people take their obsession with a celebrity to whole new levels. And BTS saw this dark side of fame doing their 2015 Australia tour when a number of death threats were made about Kim Nam Joon or RM as he’s popularly called.
RM had jokingly made a comment on how he had difficulty viewing V and J-Hope when he saw them for the first time as they were “too black”.
This remark was interpreted by many to be racist and led to RM getting death threats from multiple Twitter users.
One user went as far as to post pictures of guns and explained how they “weren’t joking” about hurting RM.
Another user had posted about trying to get to RM during the Mexico stop during BTS’s 2015 Red Bullet tour.
And it wasn’t just RM, Jimin too received death threats back in 2017. One anonymous Twitter account posted about how they would try to assassinate Jimin when BTS landed in Anaheim, California for their “Wings” tour.
It was owning to these threats that security was heightened in the concert, and the police got involved.
However, no one who made the threats got caught.
Jungkook Breaking Social Distancing Rules
You’ll see that most of the controversies surrounding BTS members that I’ve listed here are at least a few years old. So you can always chalk up any bad behaviour on the member’s part to young age and naivete.
But this scandal is a bit recent. Back in April 2020, South Korea had announced that all its citizens would follow strict social distancing rules.
At this same time, Jungkook was spotted in Itaewon with friends from the 97 liner squad.
The internet burst into indignation at what they called was obnoxious celebrities bending the rules just because they were famous.
Jungkook however apologized immediately after the scandal broke out. Big Hit Entertainment also issued an apology.
Jimin’s Controversial Shirt
Can you believe an outfit choice by a BTS member almost caused a diplomatic crisis between two nations? Yup. This happened sometime in 2018.
Park Ji-Min appeared outside wearing a white t-shirt with Korean nationalist slogans on the back. But the real controversy was the picture of an atomic bomb going off that was printed on the front of his t-shirt.
Many Japanese citizens took it to mean disrespect towards the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the bombing that was a catalyst that led to South Korea (then united) being freed from Japanese colonization.
So many people thought Jimin’s t-shirt was celebrating the fact that Hiroshima was bombed.
In fact, the controversy got so out of hand that a Japanese TV show had to cancel BTS’ appearance for fear of further controversy.
Jin’s Picture With Condoms In The Background
Okay, so you may wonder why this is so controversial of a thing, but trust me things were different back in 2014 when BTS was still new at the scene.
So what happened was that Jin posted on BTS’ recipe blog a photograph of him eating a meal that was supposed to have been cooked by him.
But eagle-eyed fans noticed a box of condoms in the background.
This caused quite a stir among netizens as Korean culture tends to be rather conservative with regard to sexuality.
However, a representative of Big Hit Entertainment (BTS’ record label) soon clarified that the condoms were given to Jin as a gag gift by a couple of fans.
In today’s world where “Cancel Culture” is prominent even a little hint of controversy can create quite a big stir.
BTS has managed to dodge several of the more major controversies that seem to plague the K-pop industry like sex scandals and casting couch issues.
But even these seemingly minor scandals seem to cause quite a ruckus in the media when they got out.
Hopefully, we will see a smooth sailing for BTS and it’s members from now on.