After the Korean fandom of BTS protested against their collaboration with Akimoto Yasushi on “Bird” off their upcoming Japanese single, Big Hit Entertainment has revealed that the song has been removed and replaced.
Big Hit Entertainment first posted an official statement on September 15, acknowledging the concerns, and explained they were discussing the matter. On September 16, the agency announced their decision to not release the track altogether through BTS’s official fan cafe. They stated, “The tracks included on the Japanese single album set to be released in November have changed as shown below due to production reasons. We apologize for the discomfort.” The announcement then listed out the original track list and the changed track list. The album will still consist of Japanese versions of “Fake Love” and “Airplane pt. 2.” Instead of “Bird” (the collaboration with Yasushi Akimoto), the single album will include a remix of “IDOL” and a remix of the Japanese version of “Fake Love.”
Well, I guess that’s that then. As has been pointed out though, the right-wing accusations against Akimoto are murky at best and BTS working with problematic individuals has never been a problem for the Korean fandom before, so this still strikes me as a bit odd in a way. Plus, it’s not like doing this magically erases Bang’s praise for Akimoto’s worldview, but … I mean I guess it makes them feel better?
Regardless, Big Hit honestly didn’t have much of a choice once BTS’s own fandom blew it up to the point it became a story in the media and made them seem like misogynist, right-wing apologists if they didn’t take action. Seems like a common sense decision, and I’m skeptical this will actually impact them in Japan either, since the people who like BTS there are unlikely to be fans of Akimoto.