FUSE’s ‘K-Stop’ podcast removes episode soon after backlash from BTS/G-Friend fans

K-Stop‘ is a podcast from FUSE hosted by Jeff Benjamin and Tina Xu, and the latest episode also included Brooke Bunce. Or at least it was the latest episode until they removed it and tried to get all evidence that the episode ever existed scrubbed from the Internet by getting clips taken down as well.

Why? Likely because of fan backlash to comments made about K-pop artists in the episode, specifically BTS and G-Friend.

Honestly, it’s rather mild as far as criticism, takes, and jokes go. If it were some random dipshit (like you or me), it wouldn’t be noteworthy, but coming from people identifying as media professionals and/or journalists, I can definitely understand how people felt the disrespect.

While the comments aren’t necessarily worth getting crazy over in a vacuum, in conjunction with how far these Western publications always go to brown-nosing the big Asian fandoms for their power, there’s an understandable betrayal aspect in the backlash as well. It’s one thing to have always been honest and forthright about whatever thoughts they had, but it’s another to write glorified press releases for the companies of the groups, attempt to form deep connections with the group’s fandom, and then throw disrespect on the groups for laughs the moment the message hasn’t been carefully edited or conceived.

Of course, this kind of thing isn’t new and shouldn’t shock any long time fan of K-pop. In the history of K-pop in the West, outlets are frequently there to gas up whoever as long as it means fame or clicks, then eventually end up making it clear that’s the only level they respect K-pop on and will throw them away the moment the windfalls aren’t there. It’s a business for them, after all. But since we’ve been down this road many times before, that’s the exact reason I’m always skeptical about Western outlets. I’m not being cynical about anybody’s push because I hate any of the groups/soloists that have tried it over the years, but because that has shown to be the only pragmatic response to it.

Anyway, probably not a great look to begin with, and trying to cover it up only made it worse.

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