BTS Fans Matched Band’s $1 Million Donation To Black Lives Matter Groups

The K-pop fanbase ARMY rallied to donate to more than a dozen advocacy groups supporting Black communities in a matter of days.

BTS in New York City in February 2020/ Getty Images

BTS fans have rallied together and said they’ve  raised more than $1 million for advocacy organizations in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The K-pop band’s massive fanbase— known as ARMY — said it matched a $1 million donation that BTS and its record label, Big Hit Entertainment, made last week. Variety reported that the band’s donation went towards Black Lives Matter. BTS tweeted last week that they “stand against racial discrimination.”

BTS fans had already started raising money for non-profit organizations on June 1, before BTS made its donation. The fan group One In An Army started rallying fans on its website to donate money in solidarity with the movement since Floyd’s death. 

“Given the diversity in the fandom (BTS have a significant number of black and biracial fans) and the strong desire to help others, it's unsurprising that ARMY wanted to help support the movement,” organizers wrote on the website. 

After the band and its label made the $1 million donation, fans decided to ramp up fundraising efforts. With the help of hashtag #MatchAMillion on Twitter, fans said on Sunday night that they had surpassed $1 million.

One In An Army said it will donate the money to 14 organizations including NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, and Color Of Change. 

Kailee Scales, managing director for Black Lives Matter, told Variety that she was “moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives.”

BTS and other K-pop fans also used their internet powers to aid the Black Lives Matter movement after they drowned out the hashtags #WhiteLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter on Twitter. Instead of the hashtags leading to tweets about white supremacy or other hateful comments about the protests, it brought users to pictures and videos of K-pop stars.  

K-pop fans got involved in the massive, global movement that started after Floyd’s death on May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. His death sparked outrage across the nation, with demonstrators calling for police accountability in Floyd’s case and other deaths of Black people.

One In An Army encouraged BTS fans to continue their work in educating themselves and donating to advocacy groups to “create real change.”

“We encourage ARMY to continue educating themselves on the history of anti-black racism in the United States as well as anti-black racism that occurs in your own country,” the group’s organizers wrote. “Continue donating, signing petitions, calling/emailing your local politicians, voting in elections at every level of politics, engaging in local activism (as safely as possible), sharing educational tools, and standing up to racism in your own communities and families.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story said 13 organizations were recipients of One In An Army donations, but there are 14 organizations. This has since been updated.

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