Chilean Network Mega Apologizes Following BTS Comedic Skit

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Photo Credit: 7Loves in Las Vegas / CC by 3.0

Chilean television network Red Televisiva Megavisión (Mega) has officially apologized for a BTS comedy skit that it aired on a program entitled Mi Barrio.

BTS ARMY diehards promptly criticized the Mi Barrio sketch in question, which featured five individuals, dressed in colorful clothing and wigs, seated on and standing around a couch. These actors introduced themselves as “Kim Jong Un,” “Kim Jong Dos,” and so on, before appearing to “reintroduce” themselves as members of the ultra-popular K-pop act.

One of the comedians then seemed to speak gibberish in an imitation of the Korean language, footage of the segment shows. (At the time of this piece’s writing, the full clip wasn’t available on YouTube, though some observers’ critical commentaries include portions of the sketch.)

Predictably, an avalanche of pushback erupted from BTS’s super-dedicated fanbase.

“Regarding this program. I find it insurging. Comedy, parody and sarcasm do NOT excuse discrimination, racism and hate. One does not validate nor invite the other. Mocking names, languages, and individuals exclusively on their origins is not comedy. It is hurtful and prejudiciable [sic],” wrote one fan.

Additionally, the BTS Chile fan account – which boasts north of 150,000 Twitter followers – looked to spearhead the criticism of the skit, besides providing regular updates on the response from Mi Barrio staff as well as Mega itself. The former issued a public response on Instagram two days ago, which BTS Chile translated and posted on Twitter.

“Thank you everyone for the good vibes!! We’ll continue improving, learning, listening and we’ll remain firm in our intention: to bring fun to families,” penned Mi Barrito, per BTS Chile’s translation as well as the nearly identical translation from Google.

“We collect all the positive comments and also the critics, because that’s what we’re for: [to] contribute a little with humor and fun.”

Mega, 27.5 percent of which belongs to Discovery Networks, apologized with a separate statement, which BTS Chile also translated.

“Humor helps people deal with the difficult moments we are going through due to the pandemic. Mega’s humor has clearly stated limits in its broadcasting orientations and they are of public knowledge.

“However, we want to manifest our absolute empathy with those that might have felt affected by the section ‘El late de Raquel’ and we apologize/ask for your forgiveness. It was never our intention to offend, insult or harm any community.

“We will keep on improving, learning and listening, firm with our intention: to bring entertainment to families. We gather all the positive comments and also the critics to improve our behavior,” finished the translation.

The Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) recently filed a formal complaint over the “unfair” military-service deferment that BTS received in 2020’s final month. And back in February, a German radio host was forced to apologize after comparing the seven-piece boy band to the novel coronavirus.