The “Hi-touch” fan event and photo op were canceled during BTS‘ 2015 “The Red Bullet” tour stop in New York City following security threats.
According to various accounts from fans at the site of the concert and fan events in New York City, the staff came out to announce that the fan interaction events were canceled because of serious safety concerns for the members of BTS, as well as everyone at the venue.
Here is a short fan account video of the announcement.
HI TOUCH CANCELLED pic.twitter.com/HDM0Cahi6Q
— *just 에미* (@deadlyjimin) July 17, 2015
Fans also reported that the police were outside the venue.
It is believed that the cancellation was due to death threats made against member Rap Monster, under the tour hashtag #TRBinNYC, like this one pictured in the tweet.
— BTS A.R.M.Y (@BTS_ARMY) July 17, 2015
Fans are speculating that the threats against Rap Monster are due to what he said in a recent interview the group had in Australia for their tour in which he talked about his first impression of his fellow members: “When I first saw V and J-Hope, I couldn’t see them because they were too black. So…yeah…when the nights get dark, I couldn’t find them.” His comment were perceived by many international fans as “shadist,” referring to discrimination of individuals based on skin tone.
There has been no official statement regarding the cancellation by Big Hit Entertainment, which manages BTS. Instead, the official BTS Twitter account has been uploading selfies of members thanking their fans in New York.