It was the excitement at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. US President Joe Biden received the international k-pop group BTS at the White House to discuss racist and violent acts targeting Asian people.
On Instagram, the president unveiled a video of this interview, which has accumulated more than 6 million views to date. From the first seconds of this extract, we see the members of the group – RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook – settle in an armchair, while Joe Biden welcomes them with their own music, the hit Butterin the background.
“It’s to make you feel at home,” says the president to the laughter of his guests.
“There is nothing wrong with being different”
But the object of this meeting was not musical. Invited by the White House as part of a series of events celebrating the Asian community in the United States, the members of BTS were able to speak about the inclusion and representation of Asian people in the country, but also about the resurgence of racist crimes and the discrimination to which they are subjected.
“There’s nothing wrong with being different. Equality starts when we uncover and own up to our differences,” said group member Suga (Min Yoon-gi).
It’s been a long time since the fame of these seven artists in their twenties has crossed the borders of South Korea, to sweep the world, and therefore the United States: three of the songs of BTS have appeared in top of the Billboard, the American ranking of the most popular songs.
They posted record annual revenue in 2021 of over $1 billion, driven by online content and album sales.
Touching the youth
The White House, which has launched since the arrival of Joe Biden in power a massive communication strategy aimed at young audiences, wants to see BTS as “ambassadors of youth, who spread a message of hope and optimism. ” in the world.
In addition to the k-pop group, the White House recently invited the latest American pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo, or the beloved teenage boy and girl group, the Jonas Brothers, to record videos with the US president to promote the vaccination against Covid-19.