The gruesome death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police has lit a fire of protest around the world never before seen, sparking anger on nearly every continent, and rightly so.
That wave of outrage has also hit Korea like a tsunami, with K-pop superstars BTS and their agency Big Hit Entertainment stating their solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and donating a whopping US$1 million (S$1.395 million) to the cause, according to a report in Variety and carried by Channel News Asia.
The unprecedented donation was transferred earlier this week, with Black Lives Matter confirming receipt to Big Hit on Friday (June 5).
Kailee Scales, managing director for Black Lives Matter told Variety:
“Black people all over the world are in pain at this moment from the trauma of centuries of oppression. We are moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives.”
Also in the same report, it was stated that BTS and Big Hit are “not expected to comment on the donation.”
However, earlier this week, BTS expressed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement through a post on their official Twitter account, stating:
We stand against racial discrimination.
We condemn violence.
You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter
Many other Asian artistes including GOT7’s Yugyeom and Mark, DAY6’s Jae, Heize, Jay Park, and pH-1 have also previously made donations in support of the movement.
The pledge comes at the end of a week that has seen many musicians and others call upon the music industry demonstrate support for the black community.
According to Variety, Warner Music and its primary owner Len Blavatnik, as well as Sony Music, have pledged US$100 million each to social justice causes.
BTS appeared as part of YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” commencement event alongside Beyoncé, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama on Sunday.
The event was rescheduled in observance of the memorial service celebrating the life of George Floyd being held in Raeford, N.C. on June 6.