“Wearing a T-shirt in Japan mocking the victims of the Nagasaki A-bomb, is just the latest incident of this band mocking the past” says Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of Los Angeles based leading Jewish Rights NGO ‘Simon Wiesenthal Center’.
This statement comes after TV Asahi canceled the bands performance on their Friday Night programme ‘Music Station’ after being alerted that one of the members had worn a shirt with the text ‘PATRIOTISM OUR HISTORY LIBERATION KOREA’ on the back of the shirt, with a picture of the mushroom cloud of the A-Bomb that fell on Japan.
“We created it because we felt young people might have an interest in history if we included a sense of history in fashion targeting young people.” The creator of the T-Shirt stated, before going on to apologise to BTS for causing offence. TV Asahi has asked the bands agency ‘Big Hit Entertainment’ to explain the intention behind wearing this shirt. BTS have apologised for being unable to make the scheduled performance without making mention of the t-shirt.
“It goes without saying that this group, which was invited to speak at the UN, owes the people of Japan and the victims of the Nazism an apology.” says Rabbi Abraham Cooper.
In 2015, the band released teasers for their photo book, inclusive of images taken at Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial, also known as the ‘Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’. These pictures were quietly removed by Big Hit Entertainment, sparking conversation around cultural awareness, cultural appropriation and sensitivity.
Rabbi Cooper’s stance is clear. “The management of this group, not only the front performers, should publicly apologize,”