‘Finding next BTS’: Korean gov official under fire for 'controversial' K-Content strategy amid military absence - Hindustan Times

‘Finding next BTS’: Korean gov official under fire for 'controversial' K-Content strategy amid military absence

ByAditi Srivastava
Jun 20, 2024 08:05 AM IST

South Korea aims to discover the 'New BTS' and 'second Parasite' through 'K Content Cultural Complex' with 5 trillion won initiative.

The South Korean government reportedly plans to establish a ‘K Content Cultural Complex' with a 5 trillion won policy finance initiative aimed at discovering the 'New BTS' and 'second Parasite.' A recent report by Seoul Newspaper quoted the Vice Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, who drew major backlash for referring to the popular K-pop group currently serving in the military. The complex is slated to become a K Contents landmark by 2035.

All the BTS members are currently serving in the South Korean military.
All the BTS members are currently serving in the South Korean military.

Finding Next BTS? Official receives backlash over remark

Given BTS's undeniable worldwide influence, the government of South Korea is focused on nurturing the upcoming wave of K-Pop talents. The 7 member K-pop band including Jin, Suga, Jimin, RM, Taehyung, J-Hope and Jungkook has played a big role in boosting the country’s culture and tourism. Highlighting the band's role as cultural ambassadors, the First Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Jeon Byeong Geuk, recently announced plans to back the growth of musicians, with the goal of emulating BTS's achievements.

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“We will support the entire cycle of musician development for capable small and medium-sized agencies to discover the next BTS.”

The government official's reference to BTS in the piece led to a heated debate. BTS fans (ARMYs) expressed outrage, while others online (netizens) viewed it as an insult to other working K-pop bands, as they were being pictured as inferior because the "BTS standard" was established.

Netizens react

The objective of the administration is to reach a content export target of $25 billion (around 34.5 trillion won) by the year 2027, as per the outlet. “The government announced the K Contents Strategy to Become one of the Four Global Powerhouses.”

“At this point they are obsessed with finding the next BTS..There is no next BTS!!,” a user commented. Another wrote, “The fact they are still looking for the next BTS is a slap to the active Kpop groups because you are basically telling them that they failed to reach the "BTS Standard" and no matter what they do, it will never be good enough for the higher ups and govt.”

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This isn't the first instance where the concept of discovering the 'Next BTS' has been discussed in government circles, influenced by the group's influence which proved to be a major economic boost for the country. In 2020, at a press conference, a journalist asked about the possibility of a "Next BTS." Jin and Jimin answered, “In fact, we would also need time to think about this. We used to think of our role models and desired to be artists. But by walking through our own path instead of following their directions, we could discover our own way. We believe in ourselves but also our next juniors.”

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