BTS booted off TV show over 'atomic bomb' shirt

BTS were due to sing on TV Asahi yesterday, but the station abruptly axed the show after a photo of member Jimin wearing the shirt went viral.
BTS were due to sing on TV Asahi yesterday, but the station abruptly axed the show after a photo of member Jimin wearing the shirt went viral.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO • A Japanese television station has cancelled South Korean boyband BTS' performance after controversy erupted over a shirt worn by a member appearing to show a mushroom cloud created by an atomic bomb.

The group were due to sing on TV Asahi yesterday, but the station abruptly axed the show after a photo of member Jimin wearing the shirt went viral.

The station said it had discussed the "intention" behind the shirt with the band's record label and decided to abort their appearance.

On their website, BTS apologised for disappointing fans who were looking forward to the event.

The shirt featured the phrase "Patriotism Our History Liberation Korea" repeated multiple times alongside an image of an atomic bomb explosion and another of Koreans celebrating freedom.

Jimin reportedly wore the shirt last year, on Aug 15, when Koreans celebrate the end of Japanese occupation in 1945.

Ties between the two countries continue to be soured by bitter disputes over history and territory stemming from Japan's colonial rule over the peninsula between 1910 and 1945.

BTS made history earlier this year by becoming the first K-pop band to top the American album chart.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'BTS booted off TV show over 'atomic bomb' shirt'. Print Edition | Subscribe