Hey! Hallie here!
The Grammys are on Sunday and many ARMYs, like myself, are a little on edge right now. The truth is, the Grammys aren’t very trustworthy. They’ve already proven this multiple times in the past. They’ve even begun to re-prove this on the days approaching the award show. And yes, I’d say most, if not all, of the ways the Grammys has mistreated BTS are rooted in racism. I don’t think the Grammys are going to suddenly stop being racist. But I do think that if BTS doesn’t win the Grammy they were nominated for, ARMYs will unleash hell and it won’t be pretty. There’s a lot to be aware of coming up to the event on Sunday, and there’s a lot that ARMY needs to keep in mind regardless of if BTS wins their award or not. So with everything seeming to come down to this one moment, let’s look into what we need to prepare for.
BTS at the Grammys 2019/2020:
Let’s start with the first two times BTS attended the Grammys, the first only being two years ago despite their major successes beforehand. BTS wasn’t nominated for any award either time. Even though their popularity and critically acclaimed works rivaled, and even exceeded, that of the nominees those years. Not one nomination. But they were invited and they even filmed behind the scenes footage to celebrate the event. What we saw didn’t shine the best light on the Grammys. All the members of BTS practiced English phrases and speeches to say to interviewers, but some of them didn’t manage to say all they had prepared because of how little they were pulled over on the red carpet. They were the first Korean group to present an award at the show, but it felt shallow when the boys weren’t even allowed to perform their own song. Their second year they were grouped into a performance with Lil Nas X. This performance was also left to the second to last slot despite the constant mention of BTS throughout the night. It was a very clear method to keep the large amount of ARMYs watching for the entire program. In essence, they used BTS to get the views of ARMYs, but they barely involved the members in the show at all. It was scummy and it left a very bad taste in the mouth of every ARMY who had waited for BTS the entire night. It isn’t hard to see why ARMYs are so skeptical this time around considering how badly their first Grammys went.
Coming Up to the 2021 Grammys:
This year BTS has been nominated for one Grammy. Despite all the records they broke with their recent albums, the popularity of multiple songs including “Dynamite”, and the amount of time they spent at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. This, as you can see, is already ridiculous. They are the most popular musical act in the world right now and still they were only nominated for one Grammy. It seems the Grammys are already patting themselves on the back for nominating a Korean group, but the reasons to be skeptical keep showing themselves. For example, tonight was the Music Cares concert preceding the Grammys. The concert didn’t have enough artists signed on to perform live, which was very evident given how many performances were from past concerts. However, they did manage to get BTS to agree to do the concert. And I guarantee you, that is what made them the most money. But, once again, they left BTS to the second to last act so that viewers would watch the majority of the concert before leaving. They once again manipulated ARMY to keep people watching. And I don’t think it’s unfair to say that it will probably happen again on Sunday.
This is what ARMYs need to be aware of once the day of the Grammys comes around. Like I said above, BTS’s performance will very likely be left until one of the last of the night in order to keep ARMYs watching. If you wanted to do something else until other ARMYs on Twitter notify everyone when BTS is performing, I wouldn’t exactly blame you. However, we also have to watch out for when the winner of the Grammy they’re nominated for is announced. If they win it will be well deserved. If they lose, we all know there’s many reasons to be angry. But we can’t attack or harass the winners or anyone involved with the Grammys. That behavior will reflect on BTS, and fan behavior is a much larger thing in Korea than it is in America. In America we create a major distinction between artists and their fans. In Korea many artists are considered the role models for their fans, and therefore somewhat responsible for their behavior. ARMYs can’t make BTS look bad with our outrage. We have to be kind and respectful even when we feel like it’s undeserved. Just like BTS is out there making us proud, we have to make them proud.
Every member of BTS has talked about wanting a Grammy for years. Every one of them has mentioned how important receiving a Grammy would be for them. It’s bewildering that it’s taken BTS this long to be nominated for one. They should have several by now. However, most of us already know that the Grammys, and similar award shows, have been criticized for the way they decide winners. We know these shows have demonstrated large amounts of racism and sexism before and that many amazing artists have been passed up by such shows for no clear reason. However, it feels different with BTS. BTS are the most popular music group in the world and the Grammys have used their popularity for their own gain before. Not only that, but getting a Grammy is still an important milestone, regardless of how problematic the award show is. As ARMYs we want to hope for the best. But if they don’t win, we can’t add to BTS’s sadness by responding with viciousness. BTS spreads messages of love and togetherness, and now more than ever ARMY should be spreading that message.
Update: Reportedly, the category BTS was nominated for won’t be aired on the Grammys, as well as various other categories that feature predominantly BIPOC artists. If true, this is further proof of not only the racism of the Grammys, but the fact that the Grammys is only using BTS’s performance for ARMY views. Some artists have begun to refuse to allow their labels to submit their works to the Grammys, and some artists have even begun refusing to perform for the show. The Grammys is failing miserably at trying to ease the already rising tempers of ARMY, and even if BTS does win, I don’t see a bright future for the Grammys.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!