Music|BTS Fans Say They’ve Raised $1 Million for Black Lives Matter Groups
Fans of the K-pop boy band BTS have raised more than $1 million for Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives and more than a dozen other civil rights and advocacy organizations, a fan group said on Sunday, as protests against police brutality and systemic racism continued worldwide.
The fund-raising push began on June 1 as outrage spread over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Donations accelerated after Variety reported on Saturday that BTS and its record label had made a $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter, according to the fan group. The group rallied BTS fans using the Twitter hashtag #MatchAMillion.
Erika Overton, a spokeswoman for the fan group, One in an Army, said that as of Monday afternoon, about $1.3 million had been raised. The donations were split about evenly among the more than a dozen organizations listed on the group’s web page.
“We’ve run big projects before, but the amount of support for this project is overwhelming,” the group said in a statement on Sunday.
Ms. Overton said that as soon as donations hit the $1 million mark, fans started calling for a new goal of $2 million.
“These past 24 hours were a wild ride; now they want to go for another one?” she said. “Oh my gosh.”
The group also said people should vote in local and state elections and call on politicians to fight racism.
“We encourage Army to continue educating themselves on the history of anti-black racism in the United States as well as anti-black racism that occurs in your own country,” the group said.
In a statement to Variety, Kailee Scales, the managing director for Black Lives Matter, said the group was “moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives.”
Black Lives Matter and One in an Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for BTS confirmed the $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter, but declined to comment further.
BTS is one of the most popular pop groups in the world. Last year, the music video for its song “Boy With Luv” generated 74.6 million views in 24 hours on YouTube, a record.
On June 4, BTS said on Twitter that the band stood “against racial discrimination.”
“You, I and we all have the right to be respected,” BTS said. “We will stand together.”