News / Features / OP-ED

Why Are Tensions Running High Between Big Bang And BTS Fans? [OP-ED]

By Adrienne Stanley | May 09, 2015 01:20 PM EDT

K-pop fan wars are nothing to scoff at. The latest conflict to hit Korea involves fans of BTS (Bangtan Boys) and Big Bang. BTS has previously demonstrated their admiration for Big Bang, but the group has received harsh criticism from Big Bang's fans during their recent promotional activities.

The issue began with the April 29 release of the BTS extended play, "The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Part 1." BTS debuted in June 2013 but their recent release has proven to be one of their most commercially successful albums to date.

On May 3, allegations of chart fixing through a practice known as sajaegi began to sweep Korean forums including Pann.The allegations implied that BTS was not capable of selling the reported amount of CDs, which reached 49,000 copies by May 3. BTS is not the first group to be accused of the scrupulous practice.Teen Top and B1A4 are other groups who were accused of the controversial practice, which involves mass purchasing of physical discs by staff. Accusations of sajaegi are commonly directly at mid-level entertainment companies or those which are not considered part of the top tier such as YG, JYP or SM Entertainment.

On May 3, Netizen Buzz provided clarification of the allegations. One of the trending comments from an unidentified user provided strong support for the group. "These kids are not greedy for money at all and work so hard for everything," the user said. "You think they'd resort to this just to make money?"

While the chart fixing allegations are strong, BTS has been able to move past the claims. However, the group faced criticism when V joyously sang along with the latest Big Bang track, "Loser" during the May 5 episode of "M! Countdown." The 7-member group is actively promoting the track "I Need U," which has led to music chart show wins on programs including "The Show," "M! Countdown" and "Music Bank."

BTS were the winners of the episode, which featured a stage from Big Bang. Big Bang were not eligible to win during the episode but V's delivery of "Loser" stirred controversy, nonetheless.

V immediately provided an apology for his actions, through a Twitter post. He enthusiastically clarified his reaction with the statement, "I love them, they're so cool."

However, his apology may have continued to stir the flames of discontent with Korean fans of Big Bang. On May 8, Xsports News published a report with a headline which called his apology, "a mockery with lame clarification."

At the end of the day, BTS has shown their admiration from Big Bang, praising the group and other acts including Epik High as sources of inspiration for their music. BTS continues to show their potential beyond the Korean market, which is exemplified by the sold-out shows in their upcoming U.S. tour. Big Bang will continue to be a dominate K-pop- the rumored negotiations between Yang Hyun Suk and KBS could help expedite their return to "Music Bank." Hopefully, fans of both groups will put aside their differences and enjoy their latest releases, which could possible be two of the best albums in 2015.

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About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing writer for Kpopstarz, KDramastars, MTV Iggy and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is compiling her favorite music videos for Waywire or hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

Tagged :  BTS, Bangtan Boys, V, Big Bang, loser

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