K-pop giant BTS recently announced that they will be performing in Saudi Arabia this coming October, as part of their “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” World Tour. While the group is well-loved and has a vast, staunchly loyal fan base, it seems the fans do not approve and have been airing their disapproval over the decision to perform in a country that does not place high importance on fair treatment toward women and human rights.
BTS are apparently the first solo foreign act to stage a concert of this magnitude in the country. They are slated to perform on October 11 in the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, which can hold up to 70,000 people.
SAUDI ARABIA??!!!!!???? https://t.co/RW0He26Qu6
— SAF (@hopew0rld_) July 14, 2019
This is such a bad business move this is really a big fuck you Saudi women, lgbtq fans but also to Muslim fans especially what happening in Yemen … doesn’t this contradict their message? Of love yourself?? Lol
— – LivinLaVidaLoca💜 (@HoriyaOsman) July 14, 2019
"This is such a bad business move, this is really a big f*** you Saudi women, LGBTQ fans but also to Muslim fans." https://t.co/mSDGJcaWDi
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) July 15, 2019
Just realized @BTS_twt's concert in Saudi Arabia could come with a lot of controversies 😩
— 💙JOONATION❤️ (@LifeMusicSound) July 16, 2019
Fans feel that the choice to perform in Saudi Arabia contradicts the very heart of BTS’ world tour message:
“This is such a bad business move this is really a big f**k you Saudi women, LGBTQ fans but also to Muslim fans especially what happening in Yemen… doesn’t this contradict their (BTS) message? Of love yourself??” wrote one fan.
Others felt that this goes against BTS’ stand as United Nations’ Goodwill Ambassadors:
“Hold up, BTS are UN Ambassadors and they decided to have a concert in Saudi Arabia? Literally the country with the worst human rights? Where LGBT+ community are punished with death? Where women have almost zero rights?,” said a netizen.
“Saudi Arabia is a terrorist country that harms other muslim countries, commits war crimes and starves Yemen. I like BTS but this is a slap in the face to muslim, lgbt, and female fans. Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest terrorist countries out there and going looks really bad,” posted another.
“Listen if you don’t understand the principle “practice what you preach” you’re a lost cause .. BTS can’t be United Nations advocates and than go perform to Saudi Arabia where human rights, specially women are violated left and right , the correlation please .. this is BH’s fault,” said a fan.
But other fans feel that the concert in Saudi Arabia is BTS’ way of showing love and support to their large fan base there:
“They’ll go there tell their fans to love themselves and have hope and strength,” wrote on fan.
“Get over it. bts are allowed to perform in countries you deem as “controversial.” an artist who performs in a country like SA doesn’t mean that artist is anti lgbt. They aren’t supporting the gov, they are supporting fans,” remarked one netizen.
“Why should the fans not get to see their fav group bc of the actions of the gov.? BTS isn’t holding a concert for Saudi Arabia’s gov. leaders, it’s for the people. BTS performing in such countries spreads the message of love and tolerance, which is widely needed in those spaces,” argued another.
The controversial announcement by the K-pop group comes only days after music star Nicki Minaj decided to cancel her own concert in Saudi Arabia.
“After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest. While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression,” Minaj said.
Many fans agree and think BTS should follow in Minaj’s footsteps:
“..let’s not ignore saudi arabia’s misogynistic and homophobic laws (which also made nicki minaj cancel her show there). we can’t be hypocrites about this,” one fan pointed out.
“So now I’m going to ask it to you, couldn’t they just say no? Nicki did it, they can do it too,” said another.
The BTS Saudi Arabia concert controversy has got fans in turmoil and disagreements all over social media. /TISG