Members of the K-pop boy band BTS collected more than $1 million for Black Lives Matter, the Black Lives Movement and more than a dozen other human rights and activist groups, a community association announced on Sunday, as demonstrations against police violence and institutional injustice persisted across the globe.
The fund-raising drive started on June 1 when indignation erupted about the death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a white Minneapolis police officer for almost nine minutes pushed his knee to Mr. Floyd’s throat.
Donations increased after Variety announced on Saturday that according to the fan community, BTS and its record company made a one million dollar contribution to Black Lives Matter. The group used Twitter hashtag # MatchAMillion to rally BTS fans.
Erika Overton, a fan community spokesperson, One in an ARMY, said around $1.3 million had been collected as from Monday afternoon. The contributions were divided among the more than a dozen organizations mentioned on the web page of the community almost evenly.
Black Lives Matter and One in an ARMY did not respond to questions for clarification directly. A BTS spokesperson reported the $1 million contribution to Black Lives Matter but refused to comment.
BTS is one of the world’s best known pop groups. The music video for the song “Boy With Luv” recorded 74.6 million views on YouTube in 24 hours last year, a milestone not yet broken.
BTS on Twitter on June 4 claimed the band was “against ethnic inequality.”
Latest news outlets also emphasized the activism of K-pop fans around ongoing demonstrations, backed by a large social media network. They were swamped with photos and gifs of K-pop stars after the Dallas Police Department requested citizens to upload images of “violent demonstration violence” to a special app. In Grand Rapids, Mich., and Kirkland, Wash., Vanity Fair reported identical scenarios were carried out.
Since Mr. Floyd ‘s death, many celebrity musicians have also donated funds.
CNN published a $2 million pledge by rapper Kanye West to help the families of Mr. Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was chased by armed white people and killed in a coastal South Georgia community in February, and Breonna Taylor, an African-American social worker in Louisville, Ky., who had been killed by a police officer in March.