Talk show host James Corden has found himself in the midst of a social media storm after mocking South Korean superstars BTS and their fans.
The British comedian crossed a line with the boy band’s fanbase on an episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden this week.
The so-called BTS Army declared war on the middle-aged Cats actor, taking offence to a joke he made about the K-Pop group.
“The United Nations General Assembly kicked off this morning in New York City, and it started with some pretty unusual visitors: BTS,” Corden said, cueing a clip from the group’s UN performance of Permission to Dance.
“It actually marks the first time 15-year-old girls everywhere found themselves wishing that they were Secretary-General António Guterres,” he said.
But the joke did not land and the show was forced to delete the clip from its social media account soon after posting it.
Outraged by Corden’s comments, fans blasted the comedian as out of touch and dismissive of young people and girls.
“Stop using my gender and age as a way of mocking other people and what they do,” one teenager wrote.
The seven-piece pop sensation has 39.4 million followers on Twitter, far outnumbering Corden’s 11 million, and is one of the most successful groups in the world.
Supporters were quick to fact-check claims the attendance was “unusual”, pointing out the band have performed at the UN twice before.
Known by their stage names – RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook – the singers attended the event in an official capacity.
Earlier this month, they were named ‘special presidential envoys for future generations and culture’ by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
In addition to singing one of their hit songs, the group also delivered a stirring speech about the pandemic, vaccinations and climate change.
The band’s previous appearance on Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segment garnered 88 million views on YouTube and earned him the nickname ‘Papa Mochi’.
But after his faux pas, the BTS Army called for the affectionate title to be stripped from the host, and want it removed from the show’s official Twitter bio.
And the BTS Army do not mess around in battle, with fans hitting the comedian where it hurts.
Together, they struck hard at the talk show’s online ratings: The number took a nose dive from 4.2 down to 1.6 in a matter of days.
Oh James, you picked on the wrong fandom.