Updated on Jul 25, 2019. Posted on Jul 24, 2019

    Fans Aren't Happy With The VMA Nominations After MTV Introduced A "Best K-Pop" Category

    "This nomination reads as an attempt to section them off because everyone is afraid they'll sweep the main awards if they're given an opportunity."

    Yesterday, MTV announced the nominees for the 2019 VMAs. Among the most-nominated artists are Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Billie Eilish.

    Frazer Harrison / Angela Weiss / Ari Perilstein / Getty Images

    For the first time, the awards will also include a Best K-Pop category, recognising songs from artists Blackpink, BTS, Exo, Monsta X, NCT 127, and TXT.

    MTV

    BTS have also been nominated in three other categories: Best Choreography, Best Art Direction, and Best Collaboration with Halsey.

    But the introduction of the category has caused controversy among fans of the groups, who are arguing that it unfairly separates the nominated artists from their Western counterparts.

    not vmas opening a whole new category for kpop artists cuz they don’t want idols to win video of the year when they’re the one breaking all the records on youtube lmao

    vmas made a whole separate category for kpop because they didnt want asian artists to mingle with western artists and steal the spotlight theyve had for years even though bts have excelled over everyone else in 2019 by leaps and bounds hhh call it what it is: xenophobia

    it shouldn’t just be armys mad about this it should be all the kpop fandoms bc this is a dismissal and a cop out. If these artists are charting the same as western artists why are the sent to a whole nother catergory the prob won’t even be announced #VMAs

    For context, both BTS's "Boy With Luv" and Blackpink's "Kill This Love" broke the YouTube record for the most-viewed video in 24 hours, but they were nominated for neither Video of the Year nor Song of the Year.

    Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images, Roger Kisby / Getty Images

    And BTS fans in particular are more than happy to provide the receipts of the band's success over the last year; the band is unquestionably at the same level if not above the nominees in categories like Artist of the Year.

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    With the release of their EP Map of the Soul: Persona in May, BTS became the first group since the Beatles to achieve three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 within a single year. "Boy With Luv" was also certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America — their second song to do so in less than six months.

    They also recently wrapped up the completely sold-out US and European legs of their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself stadium tour.

    So fans are arguing the K-pop category was created to "pigeonhole" artists like BTS, especially considering they aren't nominated in any of the main categories despite their success.

    This category was made to pigeonhole them. If they had a mainstream nomination with this, no one would be as mad. But the fact that they are nominated in this IN LIEU of a main category nomination, is what makes me angry.

    you know whats really upsetting. If bts werent a kpop act,they wouldve been nominated for all the major categories and given the attention they deserve. the boys work so hard and these western award shows just dont recognize any of it😒 #VMAs

    The whole situation resulted in the hashtag #VMAsRacist trending on Twitter.

    There was never a need for a Kpop category. There was never a need to have one and put bts who is outselling some of the acts in other big categories in it This is more than marginalization. It’s a blatant insult and attempt by @vmas to discredit them. It’s ridiculous #VMASracist

    "They're mainstream contenders in the industry," one fan wrote. "This nomination reads as an attempt to section them off because everyone is afraid they'll sweep the main awards if they're given an opportunity."

    They’re mainstream contenders in the industry. You can belittle and dismiss all you want, but we have the numbers to prove it. So this nomination reads as an attempt to section them off because everyone is afraid they’ll sweep the main awards if they’re given an opportunity.

    One person noted the photo accompanying the nominations for "Boy With Luv" when you vote on the VMAs website was originally focused on Halsey, and only showed two members of BTS.

    the picture they put for bwl when you go to vote is of halsey, not bts. see what we fukkin mean here? #vmasracist

    The picture for the song's nominations has since been changed to show all seven members of the group.

    MTV

    Several people pointed out that there aren't separate categories for British or Australian artists.

    I’m actually sick. If a british boyband had BTS numbers & artistry... do you think they’d make a “brit-pop” category? It’s so blatant

    And another said if the awards were fair, more K-pop acts would be nominated in categories like Best Choreography.

    because listen here,,, if the vmas really REALLY wanted to appreciate the talent of kpop groups,,, there would be more kpop groups nominated in the choreography category,,, really deep it.

    But that's not the only issue fans have with the K-pop category. Many fans noted Monsta X's "Who Do U Love" is sung entirely in English, suggesting the nominees for Best K-Pop were chosen based only on their ethnicity.

    Gregg Deguire / WireImage

    Who Do U Love...a song that is in ENGLISH was placed in a KPOP category. They're separating them bye RACE not GENRE. They literally searched up the LATEST songs by popular korean acts and put them in a kpop category last minute.....how can some fans be happy about this? #VMAs

    not @ the vmas nominating who do u love into their kpop category when it's a whole ass english song. shoot out and alligator were right there

    They also weren't happy that the official MTV Twitter account congratulated French Montana for his nomination in the K-pop category.

    I’m literally disgusted that: 1. monsta x’s ENGLISH song was put in kpop even though it’s in ENGLISH 2. French Montana was given credit for the song 3. That Monsta X and all the other Asian artists are being segregated into their own category #VMAsRacist #VMAs

    Meanwhile, others believed K-pop girl groups like Twice and Red Velvet had been overlooked in the category, despite their recent success with songs like "Fancy" and "Zimzalabim".

    vmas are gonna have a best kpop category and not nominate fancy? fancy is the bohemian rhapsody kpop and you can’t change my mind

    -KTL DESERVED TO BE NOMINATED FOR VIDEO OF THE YEAR. -More girl groups deserved to be nominated like Twice and Red Velvet -VMAs made a whole new category for kpop for clout idc #mgmavote #blackpink @ygofficialblink

    Representatives for MTV and the VMAs have been contacted for comment.

    UPDATE

    This post has been updated to reflect changes made by MTV following criticism from fans.

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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