None Of The Best K-pop Nominees Attended The 2019 MTV VMA’s

Best K-pop MTV VMA's
BTS was one of the groups nominated for Best K-pop | (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

MTV caused quite a controversy with the creation of the Best K-pop category at the 2019 MTV VMA’s. EXO, NCT 127, Blackpink, TXT, MONSTA X, and BTS were all nominated for the award. Blackpink and BTS were also nominated for Best Group. Even with the nominations, none of the K-pop groups attended the awards show.

Many K-pop fans thought the new category was xenophobic

Over the past two years, the VMA’s declined in viewership. In 2017, the VMA’s had 5.36 million viewers. The show’s viewership dropped even more in 2018 with 4.87 million viewers. K-pop has steadily grown in popularity over the past few years, and some fans suspected MTV created the Best K-pop category to draw in more viewers.

Instead of nominating the K-pop groups in categories with Western artists, MTV segregated them into a separate category. After MTV announced the category, #VMAsRacist trended on Twitter.

“I dont want bp to go to the vmas. The award show is racist, they created the kpop category just so they dont nominate asians to categories like Best MV, best song or Best artist…,” wrote a Blackpink fan on Twitter.

MTV attempted to correct their mistake by nominating BTS and Blackpink for a last-minute category called Best Group. However, it was not enough. K-pop fans saw through the attempt and decided not to watch the show. By the numbers, some of the K-pop groups deserved to be nominated in the main categories.

For the Video of the Year award, Taylor Swift’s “You Need To Calm Down” music video has over 122 million views. Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” has over 416 million views. The Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” has just over 199 million views. By comparison, BTS’s “Boy With Luv” has over 524 million views and Blackpink’s “Kill This Love” music video has over 556 million views.

None of the K-pop groups attended the MTV VMA’s

Despite creating an entire category in attempt to appeal to K-pop idols and fans, none of the groups showed up to the awards show. Based on this alone, it seems MTV’s move at including while excluding K-pop in an effort to raise viewership was unsuccessful.

TXT and BTS both belong to Big Hit Entertainment. The company did not acknowledge the nominations for either groups. Instead, it released a statement that BTS is on vacation until October 2019. Later, it announced that TXT’s next comeback was delayed due to some of the members contracting conjunctivitis.

In the announcement for TXT, Big Hit Entertainment acknowledged TXT would not be able to perform at the 2019 Soribada Best K-Music Awards on Aug. 23 and the Kansai Collection 2019 Autumn & Winter on Aug. 27. Even though the MTV VMA’s took place on Aug. 26, Big Hit Entertainment did not mention the awards show at all.

In an interview with MTV, NCT 127 thanked their fans for the nomination.

“We were all kind of in disbelief at first, but after letting it sink in it was kind of cool. We’re really thankful for our fans for making it happen,” said Doyoung.

Even though NCT 127 acknowledged the award, they still did not attend the MTV VMA’s.

BTS won Best K-pop and Best Group

BTS was nominated for Best K-pop, Best Group, Best Choreography, Best Collaboration, and Best Art Direction. They took home the awards for Best K-pop and Best Group. Even though the group technically made history at the VMA’s, the group and their fans ignored the show the entire night.

Members of BTS ARMY were so dedicated to ignoring the VMA’s they created a fake awards show and tweeted about that instead. The two hashtags associated with the awards show, #BTSMVAs and #PurpleCarpet, trended worldwide alongside the official #VMAs hashtag.

“But hey looking at the bright side, bts won their first two vmas as the first Kpop act to do so while resting at home. That’s a win for me, vmas are still trash though,” wrote a fan on Twitter.

Big Hit Entertainment did not acknowledge the awards even after MTV tagged the official Twitter account to congratulate BTS. Instead, the company retweeted a tweet from Weverse about BTS’s new docu-series, Bring the Soul.

BTS also ignored the MTV VMA’s. The morning after the show, RM posted photos of himself exploring museums while on vacation on the seven members’ shared Twitter account.

MTV has not released the number of viewers who tuned into the 2019 MTV VMA’s. Only time will tell if viewership recovered from the past two years. By not attending the MTV VMA’s, K-pop groups made it clear that they don’t need the awards show for their careers.