BTS Donates $1 Million to Black Lives Matter After Expressing Solidarity With Protests
After publicly expressing solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement earlier this week, BTS is backing up their support with a sizable donation. The K-pop super group, along with record label Big Hit Entertainment, donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, ET confirms.
The donation -- which comes shortly after BTS shared a message in support for the ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice -- was confirmed by Managing Director for Black Lives Matter, Kailee Scales, in a statement to Variety on Sunday.
"Black people all over the world are in pain at this moment from the trauma of centuries of oppression," Scales said. "We are moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives."
On Thursday -- amid the ongoing worldwide protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 -- the seven-member K-pop group tweeted their dedication to "stand together" with all who oppose discrimination.
"We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected," BTS tweeted. "We will stand together. #BlackLivesMatter."
The group's support for Black Lives Matter and their subsequent donation stirred the ARMY -- their legion of devoted fans -- into action, with a new hashtag: #MatchaMillion. The movement encourages fans to show their appreciation with the group by matching their $1 million donation with a slew of personal donations to Black Lives Matter.
BTS also shared some inspiring and heartfelt words of encouragement for this year's graduating class during a special commencement address during YouTube's star-studded Dear Class of 2020 graduation special.
"Dear class of 2020, it's been a strange year so far but you made it," BTS member RM said in the address. "Today we might not have flowers, we might not have graduation caps, but what we do have is possibly the most special graduation ceremony in history. Never before have so many gathered to celebrate a graduating class for their achievements and their dreams."
"You could be watching us from your bed or from your living room, alone or with somebody," he continued. "Wherever you are, you will all soon be breaking out of one world to soar into another."
Fellow BTS members Jin, Suga, V, J-Hope, Jung Kook and Jimin also shared words of encouragement and memories of their own graduations, while Jimin's message addressed the uncertainty and discontent of the world as a whole amid the global coronavirus pandemic and international protests against police brutality.
"First, congratulations on your graduation," Jimin said, giving a round of applause in celebration. "But at the same time, I am worried about everyone. I think about your health and whether you're doing OK. Whether you are holding on tight during a time when nothing seems to go as planned. Whether your body and mind are all safe and sound."
"I hope you are all doing well, but if things are not OK, even in the slightest, we send you our most sincere consolation with all our hearts," Jimin continued. "I hope you never give up. Remember, there is a person here in Korea, in the city of Seoul, who understands you… We are all in different parts of the world, in different environments and circumstances. But in this moment, I hope we can all give each other a warm pat on the back and say, 'It's OK.'"
The YouTube Originals special, Dear Class of 2020, was filmed over the course of the last several weeks. Its debut was shifted from Saturday to Sunday out of respect and deference to Floyd's memorial service.
The commencement opened with Lizzo and the New York Philharmonic's performance of "Pomp and Circumstance," as well as remarks from Alicia Keys. Commencement speakers included Barack and Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, CEO of Google and Alphabet Sundar Pichai, and Malala Yousafzai, and many others.
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