Over a Quarter Million Tune Into White House Stream for BTS

May 31, 2022 by Dan McCue
Over a Quarter Million Tune Into White House Stream for BTS
Members of the K-pop supergroup BTS, from left, V, Jungkook, Jimin, RM, Jin, J-Hope, Suga, join White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — The K-wave officially landed in the White House press room Tuesday, with an appearance by the Korean pop supergroup BTS drawing over 260,200 viewers to the live stream of the daily briefing.

On a typical day, the briefing draws just under 16,000 viewers.

For all the hoopla — and the excitement in the briefing room was palpable, even on a small screen — the group that has made the Guinness Book of World Records for everything from record sales to opening an Instagram account was visiting the White House for a serious cause: to speak to President Joe Biden about “the important issues of anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion and diversity.”

In quick introductory remarks, White Hosuse Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referred to BTS as both “Grammy-nominated international icons” and “youth ambassadors promoting a message of respect and positivity.”


With that, each member of the group introduced themselves in English and thanked the president for the opportunity to speak to him on the last day of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

“We were devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes … and we’d like to take this opportunity to support the cause and put a stop to this,” said Jimin.

“It’s not wrong to be different, equality begins when we open up and embrace all of our differences,” said Suga.

J-Hope agreed.

“We are here today thanks to our army — our fans worldwide — who have different nationalities and cultures and use different languages. We are truly and always grateful,” he said.

The last to speak was Jungkook, who said the group is still surprised at how many people they’ve reached through their songs and performances.


“Music is an amazing and wonderful unifier of all things,” he said.

BTS has been speaking out on the issue of anti-Asian hate crimes since a spike in their prevalence last year.

According to data compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate crime increased by 339% last year compared with the year before. The organization also identified New York, New York, and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, as the cities leading in the woeful statistic.

President Biden signed a bipartisan bill, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, aimed at addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in May 2021.

In April, ahead of this year’s observance of AANHPI Heritage Month, the president issued a proclamation celebrating the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the country’s history and culture. 

Then, on May 19, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to establish a commission to study the possible creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, asked for unanimous consent on the floor for the Senate to take up H.R. 3525 — a bill to establish a commission to study the potential creation of the national museum. There was no objection and the bill quickly passed.

Because the legislation had previously passed in the House, it was immediately sent to the White House for President Biden’s signature.

According to a White House official, BTS filmed “content” with the White House digital team and also received a personal tour of the building before the briefing.


A large Korean and Japanese press contingent showed up to cover BTS in the briefing room, rendering it standing room only for the proceedings. Fans also lined up outside the White House to catch a glimpse of the global phenomenon. 

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

White House

January 19, 2023
by Dan McCue
President Heads to Northern California to Survey Storm Damage

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is traveling to Northern California today to view the damage left by a series of... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is traveling to Northern California today to view the damage left by a series of “atmospheric rivers” that have battered the state’s coast for the past nine weeks. Biden left the White House aboard Marine One Thursday morning without taking questions... Read More

January 13, 2023
by Dan McCue
Biden to Deliver State of the Union Feb. 7

WASHINGTON — Invitation sent, invitation accepted. Minutes after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Friday invited President Joe Biden to... Read More

WASHINGTON — Invitation sent, invitation accepted. Minutes after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Friday invited President Joe Biden to deliver his annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 7, the president said he would be delighted. Though the... Read More

January 12, 2023
by Tom Ramstack
GOP Bill Seeks to Stop Alleged Social Media Censorship

WASHINGTON — House Republicans put more pressure on social media companies Thursday by introducing a bill that would block the... Read More

WASHINGTON — House Republicans put more pressure on social media companies Thursday by introducing a bill that would block the Biden administration from trying to remove certain kinds of information from their websites. Republicans who introduced the bill said they want to protect First Amendment rights.... Read More

Feds Propose 'Student Loan Safety Net' Alongside Forgiveness

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is moving forward with a proposal that would lower student debt payments for millions... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is moving forward with a proposal that would lower student debt payments for millions of Americans now and in the future, offering a new route to repay federal loans under far more generous terms. President Joe Biden announced the repayment... Read More

Biden, López Obrador, Trudeau Meet in Mexico City for Summit

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are... Read More

MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are meeting for a series of talks on migration, trade and climate change on Tuesday as the three leaders try to mend tensions that have divided the continent.... Read More

January 6, 2023
by Dan McCue
Biden to Honor Election Officials as Jan. 6 Anniversary Is Commemorated

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will commemorate the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol... Read More

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will commemorate the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol by awarding the Presidential Citizens Medal to a dozen individuals who resisted efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top