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

“Papa Mochi” no more? BTS’ Army fandom has it out for James Corden after his comments about the K-pop band’s United Nations appearance. Photo: CBS via Getty Images

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”.

Corden’s comments spurred a rift in his relationship with the group’s massive fandom, which previously supported the late-night talk show host and even referred to him with his own BTS-related nickname.

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James Corden sparked a social media war after referring to BTS’ fan base as “15-year-old girls”. Photo: @latelateshow/ Twitter
In case you’ve been living under a rock, BTS is one of the world’s biggest musical acts today, comprised of seven members known by their stage names RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. The group made its third appearance at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, September 20, marking its first since South Korean President Moon Jae-in named the members of the group special presidential envoys.

“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.

James Corden poses with K-pop supergroup BTS. Photo: @latelateshow/Twitter

“It actually marks the first time 15-year-old girls everywhere found themselves wishing that they were Secretary-General António Guterres,” he added.

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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.

Corden had previously been celebrated by some BTS fans for his work with the group on The Late Late Show, most notably the “Carpool Karaoke” segment featuring BTS that has received over 88 million views on YouTube. The segment resulted in fans referring to Corden as “Papa Mochi”, a moniker based on a nickname for BTS member Jimin. The official The Late Late Show Twitter account even has the nickname in its bio.

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BTS perform on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2020. Photo: CBS via Getty Images

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.

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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.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider
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  • 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’