K-Pop Band Member Accused of Wearing Controversial T-Shirt

BTS' Jimin allegedly wore shirt celebrating mushroom cloud over Japanese city in WWII
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2018 11:00 AM CST
South Korean pop group BTS performs in Paris on Oct. 14, 2018.   (Yoan Valat/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – A popular South Korean boy band was set to appear on one of Japan's biggest TV stations this week, but that appearance has been canceled due to a clothing choice one of its members may have made. Per the Guardian and CNN, K-pop group BTS was scheduled to be on TV Asahi's Music Station program Friday night, in advance of the band's upcoming Japanese tour, but a pic emerged that seemed to show one of the bandmates, 23-year-old Jimin, sporting a long-sleeved tee with the words "Patriotism OurHistory [sic] Liberation Korea" repeated several times, as well as an image of a mushroom cloud over one of the Japanese cities hit by an atomic bomb during WWII (the Guardian says it's a pic of Hiroshima; CNN says Nagasaki). It also shows imagery of Koreans celebrating their liberation from Japan after the bombs were dropped.

It's not clear when Jimin allegedly wore the shirt; the Guardian says it was in August 2017, CNN says local media reports it as happening in 2013, and the BBC says it may have been this past summer. Either way, many people weren't thrilled to see him wearing it in the now-viral photo, with Japanese fans calling it an "insult." "I can never accept the act that #BTS member wore the atomic bomb T-shirts," one commenter wrote on Twitter. TV Asahi made a statement on BTS' nixed appearance, noting, "We have seen news that a T-shirt worn by one of the members has set off a [furor]. After asking their record company about this, we made the decision to postpone their appearance on our Nov. 9 show." Meanwhile, per AllKPop.com, the controversial T-shirt itself has sold out on its vendor's site since the photo of it went viral. (Kim Jong Un apparently enjoys K-pop.)

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