Korean broadcasting station JTBC reported that politicians were debating on the issue of whether celebrities who represent South Korea internationally should be given a military exemption, and called it the BTS Law. However, the group’s agency, Big Hit Entertainment, was never present at the meeting held last month, which was attended by SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, FNC Entertainment and Jellyfish Entertainment. BTS’ fans, ARMY, were very unimpressed with BTS being pulled into the debate for no reason, and coordinated efforts to ask for a retraction and apology for the false reporting.
Lawmaker An Min Seok talked about the need to reform the current laws on military exemptions, and brought in BTS as an example of celebrities that could be considered for exemptions.
This fueled the fire, especially because military service is a very sensitive topic in South Korea. Serving in the army is required for all male citizens, and exemptions are usually far and few between, only awarded to outstanding sportsmen who win gold awards on international levels or a certain group of classical musicians and ballet dancers.
Big Hit Entertainment, which houses BTS, has never participated in such discussions and have not stated that they are seeking exemptions for the group, but ended up being pulled into the crossfire as netizens hotly debated about the issue. In the end, however, some Korean news outlets have since issued retractions and apologies.