China’s CHUANG 2021, a reality television competition designed to create the world’s next great boy band sensation, ended on Sunday and finally freed contestant Vladislav Ivanov from weeks of involuntary participation on the show.
Chinese government media began promoting the program in February after weeks of controversy in which the Communist Party’s media organs repeatedly attacked Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS), a South Korean pop group that has broken numerous records in the American music industry and become arguably the world’s most successful musical act.
One of the group’s members had expressed appreciation of the U.S. military while receiving an award for their cultural contributions in October 2020, outraging the Chinese government. American forces fought alongside South Korea against North Korea and China in the Korean War, making Beijing’s demand for the group to thank Chinese forces as well as American troops incoherent with the history of the nations involved.
CHUANG 2021 aired