A revolution to the standard pop dynamic, if not a global phenomenon, BTS has provided comfort at a time when the world needed it most. They are not an overnight success story. Rather, they had been in the shadows having debuted back in 2013 and kept rising monotonically to the zenith. With the current pandemic scenario, concerts have now become a distant possibility for all fans and groups so to speak. Nevertheless, in the digital age of social media, concerts aren’t really a measure of how much or how fast an artist gains popularity or success. However, these very platforms over the Web can sometimes prove to be overly criticizing, sometimes to a point where it becomes ugly. This exposes a bigger problem which we have all noticed but probably swept aside as ‘progressive behavior’. I can’t however. Let me clear the fog a bit.
A few days ago, I noticed that people were putting up posts on how the Spanish TV series, Money Heist was worse than the globally loved Breaking Bad. Well, that is fair I thought. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. A couple of days later, the discussion heated up and people were now posting ‘Cancel Money Heist’. Does this also count as an opinion? If we start comparing every show released to every other show and cancel them because the show isn’t the best, what would we have left? I am not defending Money Heist or downgrading Breaking Bad in any way.
The problem is way beyond that. In sports, specifically, football when a player plays well for one season, they are immediately compared to legends. Records and stats are compared and finally, it is deemed that the player is not worthy enough. I have seen official pages do this. I have seen people foolishly fall victim to those bait posts and get their minds warped. Now, I don’t want to bring algorithms and marketing strategies that these platforms use to bait people. While that is a significant factor itself, it’s a whole other discussion.
BTS has inadvertently fallen victim to the same ugly process. The K-pop group has toiled its way up the ladder and reached the top. Now, they are breaking records left and right. They have started an uproar all over the world, especially, in Western countries. The West is proud of its own culture, so a boy band from South Korea breaking their top charts does bother them. Last year, BTS grew further in terms of fans, significance, and influence. Non-fans suddenly saw an increase in popularity of this band which they probably didn’t hear of earlier. In a few months, they are trending all over platforms, collaborating with brands and widening their grasp over the music industry. It made people wonder
“Do they deserve this?”
It all starts with this basic question.
“Do they deserve so much attention and fame? They are a Korean group, we have better artists than them.”
It’s all a whirlpool from then on. People feel attacked that their desired artists aren’t getting the attention that BTS gets. They go on a roll, start posting criticizing posts which weren’t even called for.
“Linkin Park is better than them”
Why is this important? They did not claim that they were better. Suddenly, “Cancel BTS” starts flowing through your feed. As an ARMY, it pains me to see that people have become so over-criticizing that they would rather use their keyboard than listening to one of their songs or trying to know them as a group. Even after having a striking fashion sense, the seven boys have been bashed because they don’t look like, well, how a man is supposed to look apparently. Lipsticks and gender don’t measure an artist, same as physicality and disorder didn’t stop Stephen Hawking. It is completely fine to not like, support, or even listen to the band. However, it is not okay to bash them on insignificant grounds because they are “getting too much attention”. Criticizing art is every person’s right, canceling them on meaningless grounds is not supposed to be.
People need to realize and accept that whatever they support might not be popular and vice-versa. We should not feel attacked if someone or the Internet, in general, doesn’t agree with our choices of entertainment. That is not a call for a keyboard-war. Every piece of art cannot be the best in what they are seen as and neither do they try to. Canceling out every second best piece is not a solution.