“K-pop has a culture of being responsible,” said CedarBough Saeji, an academic expert of the genre based out of Indiana University.
“K-pop fans in general are outward-looking, socially conscious people and K-pop in the United States is very heavily supported by people of color, by people who identify as being LGBTQ,” she told AFP.
K-pop superstars, known as idols, are expected to be role models, Saeji explained, and often inspire ardent fandoms.
Though adorers would often send gifts to their favorite performers, many stars ask support be sent to charities instead.
After BTS dropped $1 million behind the Black Lives Matter movement, a fan collective charity — known as One in An ARMY — raised another million to match.
“BTS songs have played a role in motivating us to be confident with ourselves, to be kind to others, and to be there for one another,” said Dawnica Nadora, a 27-year-old volunteer for the charity’s US arm.
In 2018, the powerhouse boy band addressed the United Nations, urging young people to engage their own convictions.
Saeji pointed to a “messaging of positivity” behind the current activism from fans.
“K-pop attracts people who like this kind of music but also who want to make the world a better place.”