The Korea Singers Association’s president Lee Ja Yeon reportedly released a statement to BTS and HYBE Labels on Wednesday (June 22) asking the group to reconsider their hiatus, just weeks after the septet announced that they will be taking a much-needed break to focus on solo projects.
“I’m overcome by my fear and concern that the ‘BTS Hallyu Wave,’ a movement possessing the greatest cultural soft power that the world has ever witnessed, will vanish soon,” the statement reads, according to Allkpop. “In the years leading up to the birth of this movement, it was believed that finding the ‘Next Beatles’ would be a very difficult achievement, and now, we have arrived at a point where it is difficult to hope for the ‘Next BTS’ to emerge any time soon. Thus, there is great concern that the heartbeat of Hallyu will cease.
“The decision to publish this statement was not an easy one,” the statement continues. “Please, will you reconsider the decision to go on a group hiatus, for the future of South Korea’s music industry?”
Lee Ja Yeon concluded, “If BTS goes away, the missionaries of Hallyu and Korean culture, ARMYs, also go away. South Korea’s tourism industry will suffer, and it will be difficult to hope for a future for South Korea as a hub of culture in Asia. The special laws allotted to the sports and the classical music and arts industries for mandatory military service must be extended to popular culture as well. The need for attention and action regarding this existing issue is pressing. The government and the national assembly of South Korea must pay mind to this matter so that the Hallyu boom can continue to spread, and BTS can continue to promote actively as a group. Please pursue a revision of existing military service laws.”
The statement came amid news on June 14 that BTS are going on an indefinite “hiatus” to allow each member time to focus on solo ventures. “We have to accept that we’ve changed,” RM said in the lengthy announcement video. “For me, it was like the group BTS was within my grasp until ‘On’ and ‘Dynamite,’ but after ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.” He said that whenever he writes lyrics and songs, the story and message he wants to spread is very important, “but it was like that was gone now. I don’t know what kind of story I should tell now.”
A spokesperson for the group clarified BTS’ description of the break in a statement to Billboard: “To be clear, they are not on hiatus, but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats.”
Jungkook also said during a livestream on the South Korean app V LIVE that BTS will continue to be active as a group, including their current endeavor of shooting their web series Run BTS, per the rep.
Following Lee Ja Yeon’s statement, BTS’ loyal fanbase, ARMY, took to Twitter to share their thoughts, blasting the Korea Singers Association for disregarding artists’ wishes for financial and status gain.
See some ARMY reactions below.
The system needs a whole redoing starting with the korea singers association. Disgusting that they completely disregard what the artists say just so they can use them for money. Glad bts are refusing to continue following that and are focusing on themselves. https://t.co/Fp8E6psMxg
— •ゝ• cee ⁷⁺⁹ (@namjoonstae) June 22, 2022
bts: hello we’re taking a break because we’ve been burnt out
korea singer association president: ok but…. can u rethink that? 🥺👉👈
— lauren ❤ (@coffeemeowk) June 22, 2022
I don’t care about the hallyu wave, the needs of the korean industry, or the korea singers association. and I definitely didn’t sign up to be the “missionaries of hallyu culture armys” tf. I’m here for bts and bts only. and that includes supporting their much deserved break.
— agust d⁷ (@pjmyoongii) June 22, 2022
korea singer association chairman flat out saying they aren’t shit w out bts oh i’d be sickkkdhejshdjs https://t.co/uptEy3h5fI
— natasha⁷ (@APOBANGPO4L) June 22, 2022
BTS: we are taking a break ❤️
the Korea Singers Association: pic.twitter.com/caoH5ZJT48
— Tri ⁷ da Villain (@THEEEhottie) June 22, 2022
Now I’m kind of worried for the pressure BTS might be feeling because of the Korea Singers Association telling them to keep the hallyu wave alive, but I must remember and trust in Jimin’s words 🥲♥️pic.twitter.com/g9RZiibIdc
— jane •ᴗ• -ㅅ- EPIPHANY DEMO IS MINE (｡•̀ᴗ-)✧ (@toushiis) June 22, 2022
Dear Lee Ja Yeon, president of the Korea Singers Association, seriously asking, have you never taken a day off from work in your life? Seriously ask.#BTSItsOkayToRest
— REST (@1_saputrakim) June 22, 2022