South Korean boy band BTS and its record label Big Hit Entertainment have donated US$1 million to non-profit organisation Black Lives Matter, to express its support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In a Twitter post, the official BTS account tweeted: “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
Shortly after, the fans banded together to match the US$1 million donation by BTS and Big Hit Entertainment. According to fan collective and charity project One in an ARMY's donation tracker, the fundraiser was initiated on Saturday and donations surpassed the US$1 million mark on Sunday. The hashtag #MatchAMillion was also circulating on social media on Saturday to encourage BTS fans to contribute to the donations, which will go directly to BLM and other organisations committed to racial equality.
BTS fans, also known as ARMY, also ensured that BTS’ updates and news releases on social media posts did not overshadow the hashtags and tweets related to protests against police brutality in the US. They also ensured that the #BLM movement was trending on social media to raise awareness and garner support.
Meanwhile, several media reports such as Washington Post, Variety and Billboard said K-pop music fans also took to the Internet to wash out a #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag that started picking up traction on social media. The BTS fans flooded the hashtag with K-pop memes, fan-cam footage and other silly content to eliminate racist and anti-Black Lives Matter posts.
Separately earlier this year, Big Hit Entertainment was reported to have picked investment companies JPMorgan, NH Investment and Securities among others to oversee its initial public offering (IPO). According to several media reports such as The Financial Times and CNA, the IPO's total valuation is expected to be six trillion won (US$5 billion). The Financial Times (FT) reported that the IPO is expected to be one of the largest in years in South Korea’s entertainment industry due to the global popularity of K-pop boy band BTS.
The article also said that Big Hit Entertainment is looking to raise about US$990 million which includes a sale of a 20% stake in a listing in the second half of the year. Currently, the entertainment company has reported an operating profit of about US$81 million for 2019, and said its sales doubled to US$500 million last year, the FT report said.
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