Japan TV station cancels K-Pop stars BTS over nuclear bomb shirt

The K-Pop group BTS has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most lucrative musical exports. (AFP)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Japan TV station cancels K-Pop stars BTS over nuclear bomb shirt

  • ‘The T-shirt that one of the members wore made headlines and became controversial’
  • BTS has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most lucrative musical exports

TOKYO: A Japanese television station has canceled a performance by the wildly popular Korean boyband BTS, after controversy erupted over a shirt worn by a member appearing to show the mushroom cloud created by an atomic bomb.
The international superstars were due to perform on TV Asahi on Friday, but the station abruptly canceled the show after a photo of member Jimin wearing the shirt went viral.
“BTS’s appearance scheduled for the 9th has been canceled,” TV Asahi said in a statement.
“The T-shirt that one of the members wore made headlines and became controversial,” the station added, saying it had discussed the “intention” behind the shirt with the band’s record label and ultimately decided to “cancel their appearance.”
BTS issued their own statement on the row, but gave no details on why the show had been postponed.
“We apologize for disappointing fans who were looking forward to this. BTS will continue their efforts to connect with fans on stage and also through music,” the group said on their website.
The offending shirt featured the phrase “PATRIOTISM OURHISTORY LIBERATION KOREA” repeated multiple times alongside an image of an atomic bomb explosion and another of Koreans celebrating liberation.
BTS member Jimin reportedly wore the shirt last year, on August 15, when Koreans celebrate the end of Japanese occupation in 1945.
Ties between Japan and South Korea continue to be soured by bitter disputes over history and territory stemming from Japan’s brutal 1910-45 colonial rule over the peninsula.
Last month, Tokyo reacted furiously after South Korea’s top court ordered a Japanese steel giant to compensate victims of wartime forced labor programs.
BTS are the leading lights of the K-Pop phenomenon and made history earlier this year by becoming the first K-Pop band to top the US album charts, a sign of the genre’s growing global appeal.
Known for their boyish good looks, floppy haircuts and meticulously choreographed dance moves, the septet has become one of South Korea’s best-known and most lucrative musical exports.


‘Broken Dinners, Postponed Kisses’ tells heart-wrenching story of Syria’s lost artists

Updated 15 November 2018
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‘Broken Dinners, Postponed Kisses’ tells heart-wrenching story of Syria’s lost artists

  • The 93-minute film follows six Syrian artists as they narrate their stories of displacement

BEIRUT: Filmmaker Nigol Bezjian premiered his latest movie “Broken Dinners, Postponed Kisses” with an intimate screening in Beirut on Wednesday night.
The 93-minute film — which features dialogue in Arabic, Armenian, German and English with English-language subtitles — follows six Syrian artists as they narrate their stories of displacement.
Bezjian, an Armenian born in Aleppo, Syria, spoke to Arab News about the experience of making the powerful film and said it was inspired by one of his previous works, “Thank You, Ladies and Gentlemen.”
“The movie is about Syrian refugees in the camps of Lebanon and it stayed with me,” he said about his previous film. “But I wanted to make a film about people in our region who had to depart their homeland, from the time of the end of World War I until today.”
That sparked the idea for his latest venture.
Bezjian chose six characters and honed in on their past experiences in what turned out to be an insightful peek through the keyhole into the lives of those who have been affected by the strife in Syria.
“The characters in the film are artists who work in different disciplines of art,” he explained.

“The film is something of a documentary, as the characters’ stories are all real, yet the concept that ties them all together was created by me,” the filmmaker continued.
Making an appearance are filmmaker Vartan Meguerditchian, actor Ayham Majid Agha, musician Abo Gabi, dancer Yara Al-Hasbani, painter Diala Brisly and photographer Ammar Abd Rabbo.
The film explores the inner feelings and reflections of people who had to leave their homes and be transported to a new environment, facing many challenges along the way.
Despite the sometimes heart-wrenching subject matter, Bezjian noted that the main challenges he faced while producing the film were budget and timeframe.
“The movie took two-and-a-half years (to make), so the main challenge was not to give up and keep the same spirit and momentum throughout this time,” he said.

At the screening, an eager crowd listened as the filmmaker gave his introductory speech.

“There are a lot of faces I don’t recognize, and that’s a good thing,” Nigol said. 

The movie is filled with tense moments, artistic shots and captivating characters, that succeeded to show the reality of artists’ lives in environments marked by conflict and refuge.