"It's not that deep": Fans defend NCT 127 as netizens attack them for allegedly disrespecting BTS

Fans defend NCT 127 after allegations of disrespecting BTS (Image via Twitter/@NCT_smtown127)
Fans defend NCT 127 after allegations of disrespecting BTS (Image via Twitter/@NCT_smtown127)

On January 27, NCT 127 went live on Instagram to celebrate their annual "127 Day" with their fans. Among the many conversations that the group had during the live stream, NCT Jungwoo's mention of BTS as he narrated the story of their experience in Columbia elicited a range of reactions from netizens.

Jungwoo attempted to tell a humorous story about NCT 127 being mistaken for BTS at a restaurant in Columbia. The staff misidentified the group that went there to drink tequilas, and the eight members (Haechan was not present) were given extra drinks as service.


However, since there are quite a few invisible standards floating around in the industry, Jungwoo was hesitant to reveal the name of the group directly and mentioned it as,

"That group"

Sensing Jungwoo's hesitation, the other members tried to encourage him that it was okay to continue with the story, with Taeil outright making it clear that the former was talking about BTS.

While many fans from both fandoms understood that Jungwoo meant no harm or disrespect to BTS, some online users felt that his mention of BTS as "that group" instead of paying them respect with the honorific sunbaenim showed a lack of manners.

@Valluvar4 lmao it's not that deep calm down

Fans call out netizens for stirring unnecessary controversy around NCT 127's harmless mention of BTS

While the remark may have been inappropriate or disrespectful out of context, those who watched the live stream where Jungwoo was hesitantly trying to narrate his story would understand that he meant no harm. Jungwoo was stuttering when he realized he had to mention BTS due to the possibility of many controversies.

@allkpop 💀netizens targeted seventeen for saying 'bts wasn't as popular when we debuted,so they weren’t our idols', now they are targeting nct for calling bts ''that group''.Bro they all are 3rd generation idols.Chill, they are all really good friends. Stop nitpicking 😭
so much to the point the members look uncomfortable to even mention them bc they know it's going to bring unwanted attention n anger for no reason,,

Since there exists an unsaid rule for K-pop groups not to mention other groups outside their entertainment houses, many were able to empathize with Jungwoo and NCT 127, who just wanted to share a fun tour experience without bringing in BTS. What fans argue against netizens' flimsy argument is that instead of Jungwoo mentioning BTS, a different issue should be addressed.

The first is the misidentification of any and almost all K-pop groups in countries other than Korea as BTS. This demonstrates the lack of awareness of Asian artists in other countries, as well as subtle racism, in accepting every Asian-based group as BTS. Another concern that fans have raised is the constant need for K-pop groups to walk on eggshells while referring to their fellow groups.

@allkpop it shld be the fact that its so common for other kpop boy groups to be generalised as "BTS" more often than not outside of Korea that is being discussed
it’s so tiring seeing nct 127 being called bts AGAIN in a foreign country. Like it’s literally racist and pertains to the stereotype that all Asians look the same
@aesyIum basically jungwoo wuz like “lemme tell yall one more funny story, here ppl confuse us for another group sometimes..” and he got cut off cuz they started giggling cuz hes awkward af n taeil jus said bts 😭
@lovechiId the way he panicked and stuttered 😭 can’t believe 2023 neotan crumbs would be like this 😔

Fans hope that K-pop idols can freely and openly interact with each other without it somehow causing a controversy such as this one. NCTzens are also upset that NCT 127 has been called rude when they have shown a lot of respect for all of their senior artists, whether inside or outside of SM Entertainment.

While fans have been waiting years to see interactions between NCT 127 and BTS, the surrounding controversies were not what they were looking forward to.

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Edited by Babylona Bora
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