- K-pop fans have been using their social media power to support the Black Lives Matter movement and fight against racism.
- They’ve used fancams to spam police tip systems and often hijack hashtags like White Lives Matter, MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, and others.
- Some have also spread clickbait posts about fake celebrity gossip to direct people to important links.
- After BTS and its music label donated $1 million to BLM, the fandom launched a campaign to collectively match that donation, quickly surpassing their goal.
K-pop Fans and Fancams
K-pop fans have proven themselves to be a strong force on the internet, with the power to make pretty much anything go viral. Now, like many all over the world have done since the killing of George Floyd, the fans are using their voices to support the Black Lives Matter movement and protest against police brutality.
If you’ve spent any time on social media over the last two weeks, you’ve probably already seen some of the tactics the fans have organized. Many accounts have been sharing petitions, donation links, and information to support protestors, but the use of fancams and K-pop edits are arguably their most noticeable and successful tools.
Fancams, if you don’t know, are closeups of a K-pop idol filmed by an audience member during a live performance. For many, fan-made edits of preexisting K-pop footage can also fall under this term, but there are often arguments within the community about the difference between these types of clips.
Either way, fancams essentially focus on a specific K-pop group member singing and dancing, and they’re widely used on Twitter as a way to advertise or celebrate their favorite stars. Some people also find them incredibly annoying because K-pop fans have been known to hijack viral treads or trending topics to flood them with these videos. They do this basically as a way to capitalize off that topic’s popularity.
Spamming Tip Lines
So how have they used fancams to support BLM? Well at the end of May, the Dallas Police Department asked the public to send them videos of illegal activity from the ongoing protests.
It specifically asked people to download the videos to their iWatch Dallas app, which is basically a place for the community to submit tips to law enforcement.
Shortly after that tweet was sent out, others called for people to flood the app. The idea here was that fancam spam would make it harder to see actual submissions that could lead to the arrests of protesters.
K-pop fans flooded the app so much, they apparently crashed it. Within a few hours after posting its request for footage, the department said the app was down temporarily.
It was eventually restored and the department claimed that the cause of the interruption was still being determined.
Fans then used the same strategy when police in Grand Rapids, Michigan made a similar online portal to submit photos and videos from demonstrations.
However, when the department closed that portal and switched to a phone line for reporting, it stressed that the unrelated spam had nothing to do with it. Instead, it said that it received more than 20,000 tips that were enough to start working on warrant requests and arrests.
Still, some believe spam definitely had an impact, but it didn’t end there.
People called for fans to do this again when the FBI called for tips. However, the FBI’s post prompted even more than just K-pop fans to fight back.
In fact, thousands of people started to flood them with submissions of officers beating demonstrators, shooting rubber bullets, and firing tear gas during protests. Though, the FBI has said that it is still processing tips and has safeguards that deal with any deliberate attacks.
On top of all these efforts, K-pop fans have also been working to derail conversations happening under certain hashtags. For example, when some tried to get “white lives matter” tending, fans spent days making sure that hashtag was full of fancams, song lyrics, and anything that could generate confusion about the original topic.
It’s worth noting that there has been criticism of this since fans taking over the hashtag actually allowed it to trend for days. Still, others argue that they’re essentially making the tag useless across social media since its now full of unrelated information.
They’ve done the same for hashtags like MAGA, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, and others.
Then, other posts shared by K-pop accounts –and actually a ton of other people online– are these sort of clickbaity Twitter threads. These posts try to lure people in with juicy gossip about a celebrity, but they actually direct people to petitions, donation links, and more information about the Black Lives Matter movement.
For example, one of the most popular ones promises information about “how jay z ruined beyoncé’s and rihanna’s friendship.”
Match A Million Campaign
Now, these aren’t the only ways the fandoms have helped the cause. On Saturday, news broke that BTS and its studio Big Hit Entertainment donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter.
This came just days after the band made a statement staying, “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.”
In support of that, fans launched an effort to collectively match that donation themselves under the hashtag #MatchAMillion. As of Monday morning, they surpassed that goal, with donations still rolling in. According to the BTS Army’s site for the donations, the funds will be split evenly between 16 different organizations.
All of this isn’t to say that K-pop fans are 100% on the same page about racial issues or are without faults themselves. There have been some internal conversations about cultural appropriation as well as antiblack racism within the community and K-pop industry.
In response, many have been calling for discrimination within fandoms to end and have been urging K-pop stars to do more to speak out against racism.
In general, K-pop fans have really proven that they know how to use social media to funnel attention towards whatever they care about. They can easily reach millions of people a day, and with their collective power, can really help make changes. Though the internet has been frustrated by K-pop stans time and time again, most seem appreciative that they are using their voices for such an important social issue.
See what others are saying: (The Atlantic) (Vox) (The Washington Post)
Chris Pratt Denies Association With Hillsong Church: “I’ve Never Actually Been”
The church has been accused of having anti-LGBTQ ties, something Pratt has taken a hit for.
Pratt Addresses Hillsong Controversy
After several years of facing criticism for his alleged ties to the controversial Hillsong Church, actor Chris Pratt said he has “never actually been” to the church and is “not a religious person.”
The Hillsong Church has been condemned for being anti-LGBTQ. The issue received increased attention in 2019 when actor Elliot Page tweeted, “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed.”
“Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides,” he continued.
At the time, Pratt responded to the allegations by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” and that he believes “everyone is entitled to love who they want.” He doubled down on his denial in a profile published Tuesday in Men’s Health.
“I never went to Hillsong. I’ve never actually been to Hillsong,” he told the outlet. “I don’t know anyone from that church.”
Instead, Pratt said he attends Zoe Church in Los Angeles, though not exclusively. According to Men’s Health, Zoe Church is not without its issues. The church was founded by a pastor who produced a film that equated “sexual brokeness” to “same-sex attraction.” Other outlets have also described it as a Hillsong affiliate.
Pratt faced his biggest wave of backlash in 2020 when Internet memes declared him the “worst” Chris compared to other actors with the same first name, including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pine. A slew of celebrities quickly came to Pratt’s defense, arguing the criticism was unjustifiably mean. Their speedy responses only heightened the online conversation and many of the celebrities who spoke out were eventually mocked for doing so.
Pratt Says He is Not Religious
As for why the Internet has become increasingly anti-Pratt, his alleged association to Hillsong was a major factor. Some also speculated he was a supporter of Donald Trump as he did not join his “Avengers” co-stars for a Joe Biden fundraiser, though Pratt is not usually politically outspoken in either direction.
Pratt believes the backlash against him started when he gave a speech at the MTV Movie Awards in 2018 where he said, “God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you.” He understands why those remarks may have rubbed people the wrong way.
“Maybe it was hubris. For me to stand up on the stage and say the things that I said, I’m not sure I touched anybody,” he told Men’s Health. “Religion has been oppressive as fuck for a long time. I didn’t know that I would kind of become the face of religion when really I’m not a religious person.”
He went on to explain that in his eyes, there is a difference between adhering to certain customs and believing in God versus using God to control and harm people and justify hatred.
“The evil that’s in the heart of every single man has glommed on to the back of religion and come along for the ride,” he said.
See what others are saying: (Men’s Health) (The AV Club) (People)
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.
Actress Pushed at Protest
After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights.
Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”
Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.
Sweetin Addresses Incident
Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over.
“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”
Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.
According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter.
“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.
Theater Named Announced
Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title.
The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”
Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”
Chappelle Defends Controversial Special
According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students.
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.
Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda.
“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said.
“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special.
According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready.