[OP-ED] BTS at Super Bowl Halftime show: Yay or Nay?
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[OP-ED] BTS at Super Bowl Halftime show: Yay or Nay?

[OP-ED] BTS at Super Bowl Halftime show: Yay or Nay? Billboard recently posted a poll titled: ‘Who should play 2018 Superbowl Halftime Show?’ The poll was posted onto their website for viewers and consists of big house names such as Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Britney Spears, but among those nominees was one single K-pop group: BTS. 

As a quick rundown, the National Football League (NFL) is one of the biggest sports leagues in the world and the Super Bowl is final game or championship. It is one of the most anticipated annual sporting events across America. The combination of football, notorious clever ads, and halftime musical performances make the Super Bowl the most viewed event on American television. In fact, 19 of the 20 most watched broadcasts in American history are Super Bowls. For every Super Bowl, a musician is invited to lead the ‘Halftime Show’, wherein the musician holds a 12-20 minute stage performance. This stage is one of the most prestigious and hardest stages to be invited on and in past years musical phenomenon’s such as Coldplay, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Michael Jackson have performed.

When ARMYs got ahold of this poll, they immediately went to work, resulting in BTS currently leading the polls with a whopping 63% of the votes. While there were many who were all in favor of BTS potentially leading halftime for the amount of publicity and exposure the group would gain, others were not so sure for equitable reasons.

In lieu of this, a pure example of how a mere appearance on an American sports media outlet is not the best publicity strategy for a K-pop celebrity is the NBA incident with Jay Park. Jay Park attended game 4 of the Championship Finals, and soon after a photo was posted on the NBA official Facebook page, which earned a slew of derogatory responses. Here are just some of the remarks that were made:

Image courtesy of Nextshark

Though K-pop has vastly increased its global audience, there’s still derogatory thoughts against Asians (ironically some of it is coming from other minorities) by some of the mass American audience. When BTS received their Top Social Artist award at the ‘2017 Billboard Music Awards’ (BBMA), yes they gained many new fans, but there was adversity. 

Many asked, ”Who are these Asians?”

Images courtesy of Nextshark

To be fair, however, there were many people who weren’t aware of the group that praised BTS as well. A lot of the narrative focused on the negative, however. There is a positive that can be gained.

After the award show, fans have been persistently trying to invite BTS to other American award shows (MTV VMAs, Teen Choice Awards, etc). While appearances at these events would mean immense publicity, people need to take a step back and realize that while it’d be great for the group to gain a larger international fan base and the limelight they deserve, the boys are a Korean pop group whose main target audience are Koreans. 

As fans, we should let BTS direct their own musical career, rather than enforcing such invites upon them. Afterall, it is their music that led them to where they are now in their career. Many are eagerly awaiting the release of J-Hope’s mixtape and BTS are expected to make a comeback in the latter half of this year, but wouldn’t all future promotional activities be delayed if there are constant demands for BTS be invited here and there?

The boys have a lot on their plates as of now, and to want them to come across the country takes a lot of time, effort, and energy.

In an interview with OSEN, Bang PD stated he has no intention to pursue the American music market, “Entering the U.S. market intentionally and competing with the mainstream artists there is completely different in every way from a K-pop artist succeeding in Korea and gaining recognition from the American music industry due to a large global fan base.”  He continued, “As a K-pop artist, BTS have strengths, and by utilizing them to the utmost advantage that is how they’ve made it to where they are now. They plan on progressively growing as K-pop artists in the future…Though they’d be grateful to enter into American mainstream music, too much ambition leads negative results and downfall.”

With that being said, ultimately it is up to the NFL committee to determine who will perform Halftime, but what are your thoughts on the poll and BTS’ potential performance?

SEE ALSO: BTS is the only foreign artist to be on Oricon’s first half of 2017 rankings

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