Protests over police brutality and racial injustice in the United States have continued to take place all over the world. And amid calls for change, BTS and its ARMY of fans donated over $2 million to Black Lives Matter. On Saturday, BTS and its music label, Big Hit Entertainment, donated $1 million in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter, as per CNN, following the group's statement supporting the movement. Immediately, BTS fan-based charity fundraising group One In An ARMY launched a campaign to raise more funds, and were able to match the K-pop group's donation before the weekend was over.
Last week, BTS tweeted their support for Black Lives Matter, writing: "We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together." BTS and Big Hit Entertainment confirmed the donation but did not make a public comment. However, Kailee Scales, managing director for Black Lives Matter, issued a statement on the BTS donation to Variety. "Black people all over the world are in pain at this moment from the trauma of centuries of oppression," Scales said. "We are moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives."
BTS' statement came several weeks after a video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin putting his knee on the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes, resulting in Floyd's death, inspired global protests against police violence in the United States. The group was among the first K-pop artists to make a contribution to Black Lives Matter.
The One In An Army charity project aimed to make the donation even more impactful, starting the hashtag #MatchAMillion after news of BTS' donation broke. On Sunday, the group announced that the $1 million goal had been met on Twitter. Funds were distributed to "bailouts for those arrested for protesting police brutality" and "black-led advocacy organizations fighting against systemic injustice," as well as, "support for the physical and mental health of the black community," according to CNN.
Other notable artists in the Korean pop industry have stepped up to make donations as well, with Mark Tuan of GOT7 donating $7,000 to the George Floyd Memorial Fund, Jae of K-pop group DAY6 contributing $1,000 to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and Jay Park's Seoul-based record label H1GHR Music revealed that their artists collectively donated $21,000 to Black Lives Matter, as per Variety.
BTS' donation proves that the group and its "army" of fans are committed to fighting racial injustice, and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. By making a significant public donation to the cause, the group inspired other musicians to contribute, and hopefully more music industry leaders will take action as well.