UPDATED: After K-pop titans BTS stated their solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter this week, declaring “we stand together” against racial discrimination, the group and its Korean record label are making a further commitment: BTS and Big Hit Entertainment have donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, a rep for Big Hit confirms to Variety.
The donation was transferred earlier this week, with Black Lives Matter confirming receipt to Big Hit on Friday. BTS and Big Hit are not expected to comment on the donation; contacted by Variety, Kailee Scales, managing director for Black Lives Matter said:
“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.”
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, which it has made moves to do with “Blackout Tuesday” — June 2, a day in which many companies paused the workday to discuss and strategize — and donations. Warner Music and its primary owner Len Blavatnik, as well as Sony Music, have pledged $100 million each to social justice causes.
On Monday, June 1, The Weeknd asked others to step up after detailing his donation of $500,000 towards racial-justice initiatives. “Urging everyone with big pockets to give and give big,” he shared on Instagram. He followed up with a specific request to the industry in a post that featured the logos of Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music, Spotify and Apple Music. “To my fellow respected industry partners and execs—no one profits off of black music more than the labels and streaming services,” he wrote. “I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us.”
In the K-pop scene, several artists have supported the movement both as individuals and groups. Some stars have shared their personal donations as well like Los Angeles native Mark Tuan of boy band GOT7 pledging $7,000 to the George Floyd Memorial fund, Korean-American rapper pH-1 donating $3,000 to Black Lives Matter, and a $1,000 donation to the Minnesota Freedom Fund from Jae of K-pop/rock outfit DAY6. BTS and Big Hit mark the first in the Korean-pop industry to make a public group and label donation after the May 25 death of George Floyd sparked protests against police violence across the country.
Elsewhere, Jay Park and his Seoul-based hip-hop label H1GHR Music shared that their artists have collectively donated $21,000 to Black Lives Matter. Park, who is signed with Roc Nation, donated $10,000 three days after George Floyd’s death commenting that “countless innocent unarmed people losing their lives and nobody taking responsibility or being held accountable.”
On Sunday, BTS will appear as part of YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” commencement event alongside Beyoncé, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. 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.