The BTS ARMY went all out this year to celebrate the K-pop band’s youngest member Jeon Jungkook’s 24th birthday. The South Korean band is globally popular with dedicated fans in several countries, who celebrate their favourite idols’ birthdays with gusto. Some fans in Pakistan had bought a billboard for two days to celebrate the Golden Maknae’s birthday on September 1.
“Happy 24th Birthday”, “Jungkook BTS Gujranwala ARMY (the name of the boyband’s fandom)” were displayed on the bright yellow advertisement, featuring a picture of Jungkook in his look from the launch event of their biggest hit song – Butter – from earlier this year.
The billboard was put up in Gujranwala city in Pakistan. Despite being purchased with the permission of the Chamber of Commerce, the billboard was taken down after a day. A provincial assembly candidate and member of the Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami had the ad removed after it was brought to his attention on Facebook.
“We received a lot of complaints from people. There was so much commotion. There are young people in this city. This group (BTS) has a negative influence on them and encourages them to behave in wrong activities. They promote homosexuality,” assembly candidate Furqan Aziz Butt told VICE World News.
The removal of the billboard has disappointed fans who have expressed their outrage on Twitter.
the billboard in pakistan of jungkook for his 24th bday was just removed by force by a political party for ‘promoting homosexuality’ this makes me so sick. The girl who paid for the billboard has to pay for putting it up ??? + pic.twitter.com/oXv5CGIcD7— jks’s♡shasha (arsd) (@starsluvjk) September 2, 2021
Jungkook’s billboard in Pakistan for his birthday was removed for *promoting homosexuality?? they said that BTS has a very bad effect on so many people??? Wtf is that??!? pic.twitter.com/KtV11UbYhW— Charlotte⁷ (@tinybts77) September 4, 2021
In India, fans wished Jungkook by having bus shelter billboards put up with images of the Euphoria singer and text that read ‘Happy Jungkook Day’.
K-pop stars are often criticized for wearing makeup and their fashion choices that are deemed “effeminate” by those unfamiliar with the industry’s male beauty standards. BTS, despite being the biggest musical act to come out of South Korea in recent years, has to deal with several prejudices and taboos, too.
The septet, widely considered the biggest boyband in the world currently, has been smashing records and paving the way for the K-Pop industry. They’ve spoken at the United Nations, are the first Asian and non-English speaking act to sell out the Wembley stadium, and have been appointed cultural ambassadors of South Korea.