This article has been updated to include the Video Music Awards’ response to Billboard’s article.
Earlier today, Billboard reported that MTV‘s Video Music Awards could be dropping the category “Best Group.”
“Best Group” (originally “Best Group Video”) was introduced to the VMAs back in 1984. After being awarded for 23 years to legendary artists, including U2, Coldplay, and Backstreet Boys, “Best Group” went on a 12-year hiatus. It returned in 2019 as a socially voted category. In previous years, the “Best Group” winner was chosen by industry professionals rather than the public.
In 2019, BTS won “Best Group” and continued to claim the award the following year, winning out over major western acts as well as fellow K-Pop nominees BLACKPINK and MONSTA X.
Following Billboard’s report, many BTS fans voiced their opinions about why the decision to remove “Best Group” would be problematic. Without “Best Group,” BTS and other K-Pop acts would have one less category in which they could compete (and win) against western artists.
one side of western award shows are removing the best group category while the other half are MAKING extra categories so they don’t have to nominate bts in the main ones. my men just breathing and an entire industry changes the way they operate
— ً (@btsroyaIty) July 19, 2021
the whole music industry are so threatened by bts and it shows. like changing the rules for bbhot100 and not including best group on vma?? they h4te seeing bts win.
— eille⁷ 🧈 (@alatebts) July 19, 2021
the vmas not including the best group category shows how threatened they are with bts bc if bts was on that show they know they would eat it up. they will always give the main category to whites and never to poc’s. they are scared and imagine how bts’ success affected them sm 🥱
— ً bam (@ggimbapp) July 19, 2021
Fans also pointed to the controversial “Best K-Pop” category that was introduced in 2019, the same year “Best Group” was reinstated. At the time, fans felt that “Best K-Pop” was created to segregate K-Pop artists and prevent them from winning awards from the VMAs’ major categories.
VMAs created a Kpop category and then removed the "Best Group" category, the american industry wants to limit BTS and separate them from competing against their precious western artists…. they’re so insecure
— lau⁷ (@jvnggkuk) July 19, 2021
Despite their global sales, music chart supremacy, and critical acclaim, BTS has yet to be nominated for “Video of the Year,” “Artist of the Year,” or “Song of the Year.” The same is true for other K-Pop artists nominated in the “Best Group” and “Best K-Pop” categories: BLACKPINK, Monsta X, EXO, NCT 127, TXT, (G)I-DLE, and Red Velvet. Without the “Best Group,” there would be one less category outside of “Best K-Pop” for K-Pop artists to win.
Fortunately, the VMAs have now posted an update, assuring fans that the “Best Group” category isn’t going anywhere in 2021. Who will you be voting for this year?
…and GUYS chill, we’re still doing Best Group! pic.twitter.com/O5dwX3Twhq
— Video Music Awards (@vmas) July 19, 2021