BTS have addressed their politics, denying that they are trying to send out a ‘grandiose message’. Since their debut seven years ago, the Korean group have risen to become the biggest boyband in the world, and recently landed their first US number one single with Dynamite. And as their star power has stepped up, so have their philanthropic efforts, with BTS donating $1 million (£770,000) to live entertainment personnel impacted by the pandemic earlier this year, as well as continuing their work with UNICEF to end child violence. BTS – RM, Jin, Suga, V, J-Hope, Jungkook and Jimin – and their agency Big Hit also made headlines earlier this year when they donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, a total which was matched by their fans, the ARMY. However, the IDOL singers are keen to downplay their perceived status as political activists. Speaking to Variety, Suga said: ‘I don’t consider ourselves as political. We aren’t trying to send out some grandiose message.
‘We would see ARMY as a conduit for our voice or our opinion. ARMY speaks their own initiatives, and we always respect their opinions, as we respect any other person’s.’ RM, however, suggested that he was not against the idea of being more political in the future. He said: ‘We are not political figures, but as they say, everything is political eventually. Even a pebble can be political.’ The band appears on the cover of Variety’s latest issue, with the piece stating that the members of BTS will soon need to start their mandatory military service, with Jin – the eldest member – having to conscript by 2022.