June 7, 2020 / 8:16 AM / 24 days ago

BTS fans match group's $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter

SEOUL (Reuters) - Fans of the popular South Korean boy band BTS matched its $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter (BLM) in support of U.S. protests against police brutality, an organisation that runs fundraisers for the fans said on Monday.

The K-pop group’s music label, Big Hit Entertainment, on Sunday told Reuters that BTS had donated $1 million to BLM in early June.

The seven-member BTS wrote on its Twitter account on Thursday that they are against racism and violence with the hashtag BlackLivesMatter.

“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”

The hashtag went viral among the group’s fans and started another wave of donations with the hashtag MatchAMillion.

The movement encouraged BTS’ fan base, known as ARMY, an acronym for Adorable Representative MC for Youth, to match the group’s $1 million donation.

On Monday, One In An ARMY (OIAA), a group that runs donation campaigns in the name of the BTS fan base, in a statement said the live donation total surpassed $817,000 within 24 hours after BTS’ donation was reported.

“We’re so proud that ARMY have once again channelled their power for good and are making a real impact in the fight against anti-black racism,” OIAA said.

“We stand in solidarity with black ARMY. They’re an important part of our family. And we stand with black people everywhere. Your voices deserve to be heard.”

Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin, members of South Korean boy band BTS gestures to a camera on the red carpet during the annual MAMA Awards at Nagoya Dome in Nagoya, Japan, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

The campaign had raised $1,007,518 as of Monday at 9:47 a.m. (0047 GMT), and will continue indefinitely, the organisers said.

The protests reflect anger over police treatment of ethnic minorities, sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white officer.

BTS suspended its world tour in April due to coronavirus concerns.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Christopher Cushing

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