Radio Station Apologizes After Host Compares BTS to the Coronavirus
The German station has responded to uproar over Matthias Matuschik’s comments.
Bavarian radio station Bayern 3 has apologized for comments its host, Matthias Matuschik, made comparing K-pop band BTS to COVID-19. Last Wednesday, Matuschik hosted a live show during which he characterized BTS’ cover of “Fix You” by Coldplay as “blasphemy,” going on to describe the band as “some crappy virus that hopefully there will be a vaccine for soon as well.”
Matuschik doubled down on his comment by adding, “I have nothing against South Korea, you can’t accuse me of xenophobia only because this boyband is from South Korea. I have a car from South Korea. I have the coolest car around.” Social media users around the world quickly criticized Matuschik for the insensitivity of his sentiments amid a spike in anti-Asian violence, fueled by the xenophobic notion that China is responsible for the pandemic.
Celebrities and fans alike have expressed support for BTS following the host’s remarks. “I am horrified to read the comments made by Matthias Matuschik,” Halsey wrote on Instagram Stories. “Racism and xenophobia cannot be thinly veiled as ‘on air humor.’ Irresponsible and disgusting statements in a time where hate speech and violent behavior towards Asian communities are skyrocketing. This is unacceptable.”
Halsey went on to demand that Bayern 3 issue a more formal apology to BTS and “Asian communities across the world.” Though the radio station apologized for Matuschik’s comments, it characterized the controversy as a fandom issue, stating that while he was “presenting his opinion in an ironic, exaggerated way and with exaggerated excitement, his words went too far and hurt the feelings of BTS fans.”