President Joe Biden has planned a White House visit with the South Korean BTS (Bangtan Boys) K-pop boy band to talk about “anti-Asian hate.” The gathering will take place on Tuesday in conjunction with the White House events for Asian-American Heritage Month. The president will be discussing “Asian inclusion and representation,” according to the White House release, and will also “address anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.” Biden will also talk with the BTS stars about the importance of using their massive popularity to reach out to the world at large.
“President Biden and BTS will also discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and BTS' platform as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world,” the White House release read.
BTS previously made a public statement that condemned Asian discrimination. “We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones,” the statement read. It also noted that they'd “faced discrimination as Asians.” The statement went on to read, “We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English.”
Biden's visit with BTS is likely to raise questions from China in light of the fact that Chinese authorities have been slamming K-pop online content. China's effort to establish its own state-owned, nationally approved boy band has had a difficult time gaining recognition.