Big Hit Entertainment Denies Reports That A BTS Member Will Be Enlisting This Year
Big Hit Entertainment has issued an official response to rumors that one of the BTS members will be enlisting in the military this year.
On October 21, a source from the agency stated, “We don’t know why this kind of story has come up, but the reports of enlistment this year are false.”
The reports seem to have arisen from comments made earlier that day by National Assembly member Ahn Min Suk, who is the chairman of the Committee for Culture, Sports and Tourism.
During a government inspection about the tenure of his committee at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ahn Min Suk said, “It seems like one of the BTS members is going to the military this year. It appears as though it has been decided to not give special treatment regarding military service to pop culture artists.”
Ahn Min Suk continued, “Those who pursue fine arts receive special treatment regarding military service if they place at least second in international competitions. This system was put in place during the 1970s. At that time, there was a very clear difference between fine arts and pop culture. Now those walls have broken down, so it doesn’t make sense for only ‘pure artists’ to get special treatment regarding military service and not give it to pop culture artists as well.”
Park Yang Yoo, the Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism, said, “Even before BTS, there were many opinions about whether pop culture artists should receive special treatment regarding military service, so we have discussed this issue for a long time. However, the Military Manpower Association and the Ministry of National Defense are of the opinion that, if possible, all special treatment regarding military service should be reduced. From the point of view of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, it would be better if such special treatment could be extended so as to better promote our culture and sports industries.”
Park Yang Yoo continued, “There are clear international and domestic competitions for sports or the classical arts. People have made the point that there are no such clear distinctions for pop culture, so it is difficult to standardize. When we had discussions with the pop culture industry and mentioned the difficulty of getting special treatment, they said that the most practical problem for them was the difficulty of going abroad for concerts for those who hadn’t completed their military service. They asked for leniency in this regard, so we have been negotiating with the Military Manpower Association and the Ministry of National Defense about that.”