Residents of China – where the endangered species comes from – accused the K-pop stars of harming the health of three-month-old Fu Bao.
The baby panda, which is the first to be born in South Korea, featured in the trailer for Blackpink’s online reality show 24/365 with Blackpink.
The clip prompted some Chinese media and tens of thousands of people online to condemn the artists – who have pet dogs and cats – for potentially passing on dangerous germs to the panda.
In 2015, four giant pandas at a breeding centre in China died after contracting the canine distemper virus.
Some social media users have urged South Korea to return the panda to China.
Blackpink’s music label, YG Entertainment, said it had postponed airing the show in the wake of the criticism, but insisted that zookeepers and veterinarians were present during recording and that every precaution had been taken to protect the animal’s health.
Blackpink are one of the most popular K-pop bands. Their 2019 single “Kill This Love” has just surpassed 1.1 billion views on YouTube.
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