What’s the beef with James Corden and BTS’ Army? The Late Late Show host called fans of the K-pop idol group ‘15-year-old girls’ after its UN performance, sparking a social media war
James Corden was a trending topic on Twitter this week after he said the members of K-pop group BTS were “unusual visitors” to the United Nations General Assembly and characterised the group’s fans as “15-year-old girls”.
“The United Nations General Assembly kicked off this morning in New York City, and it started with some pretty unusual visitors: BTS,” Corden said in a segment before playing a clip from the group’s Permission to Dance performance at the United Nations.
“It actually marks the first time 15-year-old girls everywhere found themselves wishing that they were Secretary-General António Guterres,” he added.
A clip of the segment, per multiple reports on social media, appears to have been uploaded and later deleted from the official Late Late Show Twitter account. It remains preserved in re-uploads on social media and official recordings of the episode.
Beginning Tuesday night, September 21, fans expressed their disappointment in Corden’s characterisation of the fandom as “15-year-old girls” and in the way that he spoke about the group’s appearance.
Viewer ratings for The Late Late Show on Google have dipped low as well – currently, the show has a 1.2-star rating out of five on Google’s audience rating summary, with recent one-star reviews explicitly calling out Corden’s words on BTS.
Now, some fans say they are revoking the “Papa Mochi” nickname.
“I’m so sick of this fake love / I’m so sorry but it’s fake love / James Corden isn’t Papa Mochi any more,” one viral tweet reads, referencing lyrics from BTS’ 2018 single Fake Love.
Building on previous appearances at the United Nations in 2018 and 2020, BTS spoke about how the Covid-19 pandemic will shape their generation. They also performed their single Permission to Dance in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. An upload of the group’s speech on the United Nations’ YouTube channel has been viewed over 6.5 million times, outstripping view counts of other celebrity appearances from Emma Watson and Leonardo DiCaprio at UN events.
The Late Late Show did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
- Corden called BTS members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook ‘unusual visitors’ to the United Nations General Assembly ... but it was their third appearance
- But fans once supported the TV host, who featured BTS in his ‘Carpool Karaoke’ segment that got over 88 million views on YouTube, even nicknaming him ‘Papa Mochi’