Management of K-pop group BTS defend their controversial ‘Nazi imagery’ branding

Management company Big Hit Entertainment has been forced to defend the hugely popular Korean pop group BTS amid claims of Nazi imagery.

The move comes after the Korean boy band saw their debut on Japanese television cancelled at the last minute after a member of the band, Jimin, was pictured wearing a t-shirt with donning an atomic bomb alongside the English slogan ‘Patriotism Our Country North Korea’.

Furthermore, the news comes just days after a leading Jewish human rights organisation criticised the band after another member was spotted wearing a hat featuring a Nazi symbol. The image in question appears to show one member, during a photoshoot, donning a Death’s Head Units cap – the SS organisation that administered the Nazi concentration camps.

As controversy grows, Big Hit Entertainment have responded in defence of the band. Despite claiming that they do not condone the actions, Big Hit explains that the members of the band are “in no way responsible”.

“In all activities involving BTS and any other artists associated with our company, Big Hit does not condone any activities of war or the use of atomic weapons, is adamantly against them, had no intention of causing distress or pain to anyone affected by the dropping of atomic weapons, and we will continue to adhere to these principles,” the company said.

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“In all activities involving BTS and any other artists associated with our company, Big Hit does not support any organisations or groups oriented towards political extremism and totalitarian beliefs including Nazism, is against all such entities and activities, had no intention of causing distress or pain to anyone affected by historical events and incidents by being inadvertently associated with such organisations or groups, and we will continue to adhere to these principles.”

Addressing the atomic bomb t-shirt specifically, Big Hit explained that the wearing of the clothing was “in no way intentional” and then apologised “not only for failing to take the precautions that could have prevented the wearing of such clothing by our artist that inadvertently inflicted pain on anyone affected by the use of atomic weapons, but to anyone who may have experienced distress and discomfort by witnessing the association of our artists with imagery related to atomic bombings”.

In an attempt to dampen the hat controversy, Big Hit Entertainment said of the incident that “a hat displaying a logo reminiscent of Nazi symbolism”, was “in no way intentional”.

“Although all apparel and accessories used during the photo shoot had been provided by the publication conducting the shoot, we would like to offer our sincere apologies for inadvertently inflicting pain and distress to anyone affected by totalitarian regimes in the past by failing to strictly review the clothing and accessories that our members were made to wear, as well as to anyone who may have experienced distress and discomfort by witnessing an association of our artists with imagery reminiscent of political extremism,” the company added.

Big Hit Entertainment said it “bears all responsibilities for not providing the necessary and careful support to our artist that may have prevented these issues”.

“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 outlined above.”

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