BTS MET WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN IN OVAL OFFICE
First Korean artist to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes with U.S. President at White House
Photo Credit: The White House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 1, 2022 – 21st century pop icons BTS visited the White House (Oval Office) yesterday to discuss diversity and other related issues with President of the United States Joe Biden.
During the 35-minute meeting, BTS and President Biden had a conversation on anti-Asian hate crimes and Asian inclusion, and spoke about President Biden’s recent visit to South Korea.
President Biden began the conversation by speaking about discrimination and the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. President Biden explained, “Hate only hides. When good people talk about it and say how bad it is, it goes down.”
President Biden said, “People care a lot about what you say, and what you are doing is good for all people.” He added, “It’s not just your good talent. It’s the message you are communicating. It matters.”
BTS said, “We want to say thank you, sincerely, for your decision such as signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law,” and added “So we just want to be a little help and we truly appreciate the White House and government’s (efforts) trying to find solutions.”
At the end of the meeting, President Biden gave commemorative coins as gifts.
Before joining President Biden, BTS paid a visit to the White House Press Briefing Room to address their purpose and feelings about the visit in front of approximately 100 journalists. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “I’m excited to welcome some special guests to the briefing room today, pop phenoms BTS.” She added, BTS are “Grammy-nominated international icons,” and “play an important role as youth ambassadors promoting a message of respect and positivity.”
Then, the members made their remarks in Korean or English. RM said, “It is a great honor to be invited to the White House today to discuss important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion and diversity.”
BTS’ visit to the White House made another history of the “first” as South Korean artists. Invited as representing South Korean artists, BTS proved their global influence through meeting with President Biden.
[APPENDIX] Full Script of the Daily Briefing:
RM (ENG): Thank you Karine for your kind words.
Hi, we are BTS. It is a great honor to be invited to the White House today to discuss important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion and diversity.
Jin (KOR): Today is the last day of AANHPI Heritage Month. We joined the White House to stand with the AANHPI community and to celebrate.
Jimin (KOR): We were devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes including anti-Asian hate crimes. To put a stop on this and support the cause, we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.
j-hope (KOR): We could be here today thanks to ARMY, our fans worldwide who have different nationalities and cultures, and use different languages. We are truly grateful.
Jung Kook (KOR): We still feel surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches many people worldwide, transcending barriers across the board including language and culture. We believe music is always a wonderful unifier of all things.
SUGA (KOR): It’s not wrong to be different. Equality begins with opening up and embracing all differences.
V (KOR): Everyone has his or her own history. We hope today is one step forward to respecting and understanding each and every one as a valuable person.
RM (ENG): Lastly, we thank President Biden and the White House for giving us this important opportunity to speak about the important causes and remind ourselves of what we can do as artists. Thank you very much.
BTS, an acronym of Bangtan Sonyeondan or “Beyond the Scene,” are a GRAMMY-nominated South Korean boyband that has been capturing the hearts of millions of fans globally since their debut in June 2013. The members of BTS are RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook. Gaining recognition for their authentic and self-produced music, top-notch performances, and the way they interact with their fans, the band has established themselves as 21st century pop icons breaking countless world records. While imparting a positive influence through activities such as the LOVE MYSELF campaign and the UN ‘Speak Yourself’ speech, the band has mobilized millions of fans across the world (named ARMY), collected six No.1 Billboard Hot 100 singles in a span of a year and just over a month, and performed multiple sold-out stadium shows across the world. They were also named TIME’s Entertainer of the Year 2020. BTS were nominated two years in a row for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 63rd and 64th GRAMMY Awards and have been recognized with numerous prestigious awards like the Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards (Artist of the Year 2021) and MTV Video Music Awards.