BTS explain why they donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter: ‘It’s about us being against racism and violence'

Donation inspired BTS fans to match the amount given to the Black Lives Matter movement

BTS perform at the VMAs
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K-pop stars BTS have explained why they personally donated $1m (£773,185) to the Black Lives Matter movement, in a gesture that inspired their fans to match the donation.

The group’s seven members and their label, Big Hit Entertainment, made the donation in June, as protests were taking place across the US over the police killing of George Floyd.

Speaking toVariety, BTS said they had been subjected to prejudice themselves, and felt strongly that it should not be tolerated.

“We started to discuss what we could do to help, whether it was a donation or something else," Jin said. “That’s where the conversation began — just trying to see what we could do to try to alleviate this prejudice.”

“It was a decision we thought about very carefully: What could we do, as part of our overall message of speaking out against prejudice and violence? We discussed it very carefully with the company and that's how this came about,” RM added.

The bandmembers added that they do not consider themselves to be political: “Ours are initiatives that any person who wishes to live in a just world would want to pursue. We aren't trying to send out some grandiose message... It's about us being against racism and violence. Most people would be against these things,” Suga said.

Around the time that BTS made the donation, they also shared a message on Twitter to their fans, commenting: “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLives Matter.”

Fans matched the $1m donation within 25 hours of BTS making theirs.

“We always want to do what we can to make it a better world, whether in Korea or elsewhere, and go in as much of a positive direction as we can, whether through our music or charity,” J-Hope said.

BTS recently announced that their new album, BE (Deluxe Edition), will be released on 20 November this year.

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The K-pop stars said the new record “imparts a message of healing to the world by declaring, ‘Even in the face of this new normality, our life goes on.’”

The band had previously hinted at new music that they hoped would provide comfort and joy for fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

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