Korean pop supergroup BTS is scheduled to meet President Joe Biden at the White House on May 31 to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes and disinformation and Asian inclusion and representation.
The Grammy-nominated K-pop group is set to meet the President, just days after his return from a trip to Asia, which included meeting with newly-elected South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
Between March 2020 and December 2021, there was a significant increase in anti-Asian crimes and hostility toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 10,000 hate incidents against AAPI persons reported to the advocacy organization Stop AAPI Hate.
BTS have been vocal about their own experiences with discrimination and spoke out about it during the uptick in crimes against Asians in 2021 in the U.S., which included shootings at three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta.
“We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians,” said the group in a statement on Twitter. “We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English.”
They added, “We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason.”
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions