The South Korean girl band Blackpink has sparked outrage in China after cuddling a baby panda without sanitary gloves. Residents in China alleged that the girls have risked harming the health of a national treasure. This is the second time that a K-pop band has landed in controversy.
Last month, another South Korean boy band BTS had come under fire in China after the band leader RM sparked controversy citing the “history of pain” shared between South Korea and the US, who fought alongside each other in the Korean war. China came to the aid of North Korean forces during the 1950-53 conflict and suffered significant losses.
A trailer for their online reality show 24/365 with Blackpink was released recently wherein the members of the K-pop girl band Blackpink were seen cuddling the three-month-old baby panda, Fu Bao, without sanitary gloves. The baby panda, as reported by Independent, is the first to be born in South Korea.
The alleged incident irked some Chinese media and several netizens, who condemned the artists for potentially passing on dangerous germs from their pets to the panda. Several netizens on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, began posting with a hashtag accusing the group of incorrectly handling the animal.
The hashtags “Blackpink” and “panda” were trending on South Korean Twitter over the weekend. Scores of users not only slammed Blackpink but also demanded the country to return the pandas to China. Whereas some users also complained that the animals are not native to South Korea and cost too much to raise. Some even took the band to task for wearing too much makeup.
According to the report, the baby panda was introduced to the public last week and it was born in July to parents who arrived in South Korea from Sichuan province in 2016 as part of China’s “panda diplomacy”.
Following the outrage, Blackpink’s music label, YG Entertainment has now said that it had postponed showing the full version of the show, which had been due to appear on the band’s YouTube channel this week.