Billboard asks BTS about ARMY and chart manipulation, slammed for immature questions

Billboard asks BTS about ARMY and chart manipulation, slammed for immature questions
Members of BTS talk to Billboard in a recent interview where the controversial nature of the questions enraged fans (BTS/Billboard Magazine)

BTS has now achieved the fame and recognition they deserved after struggling to find their place in the South Korean Music Industry. They worked hard like many other groups in K-pop have and have made it to the top becoming a global sensation. With that being said, there are many challenges BTS have lived through that fans have no idea about. Still, ARMY and BTS go hand in hand.

Just like their name suggests, BTS are Bullet-proof Boy Scouts here to protect their fans with their all. BTS alone is not protective of their fans, ARMY returns the favor and strives to protect BTS with all their might. BTS’ ARMY possibly is one of the most powerful fandoms in the world at the moment making sure BTS is never faced with anything negative as they are always willing to bring wrong-doers and haters of BTS down. 


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Billboard releases an Interview with members of BTS where controversial topics like chart manipilation by fans, streaming etc. were discussed. (BTS/Billboard Magazine)

Billboard article triggers fans

All was going well in the fandom as fans were excited about BTS releasing their long-awaited collab with Megan Thee Stallion. BTS and Megan collaborated on their hit single ‘Butter’ for a remix which is finally going to release on August 27. Billboard released an article which is an interview with the members of BTS who will feature on Billboard Magazine’s September issue. ARMY’s were excited about this but did not expect the article to be so controversial.

In the interview, fans noticed that the questions asked to be boys were about sensitive topics which did not really make sense given the fact that BTS has always made their position clear on topics like Korean Mandatory Military Enlistment and being burned out by their company. Fans suspect that these questions were asked to instigate BTS but it seems that even when the boys tried to handle it smartly, the interview was manipulated where words were twisted out of proportion.


The interview only stirred controversy

The interview saw BTS being asked questions about pressure from South Korea and BTS’ agency. They were also asked questions about being burned out with tight schedules and chart manipulations because they have a large loyal fanbase. All this did not stick well with fans as it should not with any fandom because fans who are devoted to one group are not doing so to bring other contemporary western artists down. They do so because they love their favorites.

As the interviewer began to introduce BTS in the article fans smelled something funky. The writer/interviewer mentioned that the boys looked like they were college students. He added that they talked about hangovers and the effects of alcohol consumption. With the successful fanbase, BTS has amassed over the years, there seems no reason for an interview to start with such controversial details. The interviewer mentions that BTS hailed from a ‘cash-strapped’ agency, Big Hit Entertainment, proving the fact that they have not really heard or researched about BTS’ origins and Big Hit Entertainment’s early days.


Fans are enraged

This and many other odd statements from the interview have raised concerns about Billboard amongst ARMY. On August 26, ARMYs trended the hashtag #BillboardApologizeToBTS as they were raged by the way the interviewer decided to talk about everything insignificant to BTS instead of talking about their career goals, dreams, and aspirations. Something that fans would've enjoyed. The interviewer asked RM, leader of BTS, about the allegations that their fans often manipulated charts, not allowing other artists to rise to the top like them.

RM promptly answered this question as the article has mentioned his statement, “It’s a fair question,” says RM of allegations that ARMY’s work amounts to chart manipulation. “But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it’s up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking. Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don’t know if that’s right ... It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty.” Despite this befitting response, fans still wondered how relevant Billboard’s question was.


Fans were extremely troubled by the article as it definitely seemed to have downplayed BTS’ struggles over the years. The questions also mocked fans’ efforts to bring BTS to the top which is why ARMYs expressed their rage on Twitter by trending the hashtag worldwide. It also incensed them that it was a Korean who wrote this article and slammed the author Jeyupp S Kwaak. Here is what fans have to say about the article.

One fan tweeted a post about this interview from Facebook and captioned it saying, “Saw this on Facebook and he spit facts!!” while another fan said, “After doing some research on Jeyup S Kwaak, the independent “journalist” who wrote the billboard article, I am confused as to why billboard chose him. Reading his profile on WSJ, it appears he writes more economic and political articles than pop culture.”An ARMY was rather disappointed in the writer and said, “Disgusted but not surprised by that billboard article.. jeyup s. kwaak when i catch you.”

Another fan said, “Jeyup S. Kwaak wrote the billboard article for BTS. Now let me ask you this? You Shan an opportunity to ask BTS anything and you choose stan twt, STAN TWT as a source of their music and artistry? How do you stoop sooo low? You treating them like some boy group? It’s BTS.” One fan posted screenshots of the article and said, “This was all so painful to read, both because you can see hints of bts actually saying what they want to say, and billboard's horrible writing and clear attempt to still twist that image,” while another fan said, “Mr Jeyup S. Kwaak.......why? You had an opportunity to interview one of the greatest acts in the world rn and you went with such stupid questions? Manipulation???”

One particular fan pointed, “Forbe's posted this about Billboard. also RM said this, BTS works hard for what they do deserve all the support Army gives to them without being judged about it.” One more fan said, “Like’re the ones who make the charts ??????” Another fan said: "Billboard got the chance to write about bts and their success but instead they not only inserted tweets from racist trolls but also asked shitty questions ab chart manipulation? the amount of unprofessionalism is just awful n the way namjoon handled it so well i wouldve lost it." One fan asked: "Like’re the ones who make the charts ??????"
















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