K-pop band BTS’s fans, the ARMYs, are upset with the apparent sidelining of the Korean boy band in the nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) announced on Tuesday.
BTS got just four nods, including three in the newly created K-pop category, which fans are calling out for being exclusionary.
ARMYs tweeted criticism of the nominations with the hashtag #VMAsRacist, saying the creation of a separate category kept Asian music stars out of contention for major awards like ‘Song of the year’, ‘Best pop video’ and ‘Video of the year’.
2019 has been a big year for BTS. The K-pop band created a new YouTube record for the most-viewed 24 hour debut when they dropped the video for ‘Boy With Luv’ featuring Halsey. The video had 74.6 million views on YouTube in 24 hours.
Map of the Soul: Persona, released in April, was their third album to hit no.1 on the Billboard 200 within a year, making BTS the only artists to achieve the feat since the Beatles in 1995-96.
Fans also took issue with the poster used to announce BTS’ nomination as it cropped out many of the band members to focus on Halsey.
‘Boy With Luv’, a collaboration between BTS and American singer Halsey, received nods for best collaboration, art direction and choreography.
Fans vote on the winners of the VMA awards, which will be announced at a show on 26 August, but they do not vote on the nominations.
Other nominees in the K-pop field include girl band BlackPink, Monsta X, NCT 127, EXO and Tomorrow X Together.