Jimmy Kimmel, host of the US television talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, has drawn accusations of racism after equating South Korean pop group BTS to a fever. He is the latest in a line of comedians to have been called out for racism after using the K-pop act as a punchline. In a recent episode, a clip from which was posted to YouTube on January 21, Kimmel spoke with Emily In Paris star Ashley Park. During their conversation, Park said that when BTS’ members shared her in-show cover of their 2022 song Dynamite she felt a physical reaction that she thought at first was intense shock, but in fact she tested positive for Covid-19 shortly afterwards. In response, Kimmel said: “You thought it was BTS fever. They’re both very dangerous; you’re lucky to come out of those alive.” The comment by Kimmel caused anger on social media, with many questioning how the host could equate BTS to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed millions since 2019. Using Asian megastars—who have worked extremely hard to get where they are, fought racism and made brilliant strides for representation—as the butt of racist jokes is not funny. ‘Comedy’ like Jimmy Kimmel’s normalises Asian hate and crime against Asian people. This is not okay. — Riddhi Chakraborty 🏳️🌈 (@thisisridz) January 29, 2022 Kimmel is the latest comedian and media personality to cause upset by equating the South Korean act to the Covid-19 virus for the sake of a punchline. Many people feel making such comments is dangerous given the rise in anti-Asian sentiment and violence, especially in the United States. “Casually comparing BTS to a contagious virus that the Asian community has been vilified for is not just deeply offensive, it’s dangerous,” tweeted author Marie Lu. “I didn’t wait my whole life for an Asian superstar(s) to conquer America just to see them treated like this. But that’s America for you.” Casually comparing BTS to a contagious virus that the Asian community has been vilified for is not just deeply offensive, it’s dangerous. I didn’t wait my whole life for an Asian superstar(s) to conquer America just to see them treated like this. But that’s America for you. https://t.co/RpS0ay2Snw — Marie Lu⁷ (@Marie_Lu) January 29, 2022 Last year, following a deadly shooting rampage targeting Asian women in Atlanta, in the US state of Georgia, BTS condemned violence against Asians around the world. In a collective statement, they expressed grief for those harmed and their loved ones, and also shared their own experiences facing racism. “We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians,” they wrote. “We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English. We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason.” Also in 2021, a German radio show host and a Chilean comedy show were accused of racism and xenophobia in regards to BTS, using humour as an excuse. #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate pic.twitter.com/mOmttkOpOt — 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 30, 2021 The recent incident drew attention to past incidents of Kimmel appearing to share anti-Asian rhetoric in the guise of a joke, including a skit that seemingly suggested America should “kill everyone in China” for which he subsequently apologised in 2013 . “I come to you with nothing but love in my heart,” Kimmel explained at the time. “I’m a comedian; I was trying to make people laugh. I’m sorry that I did this.” BTS appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2017.