A spokesperson for BTS confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the interview never took place.
An interview published last month by an Australian teen magazine purportedly with BTS member RM immediately raised questions with some of the K-pop group’s avid fans, as the band members rarely give interviews on their own. Many BTS fans began to speak out online, wondering if the article was legitimate.
Turns out the fans were right. A spokesperson for BTS confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the interview never took place.
The interview, published in April for the May issue of Total Girl magazine, initially excited some members of the BTS fanbase, known as ARMY. Soon however, many became confused by the content of the article. The interview included questions posed by fans and the magazine had nine pages about the group.
Fans of the group discussed it on Clubhouse, in a room where BuzzFeed News observed their conversation. Many fans have speculated that some of RM’s responses appeared to come from unverified BTS trivia websites.
After Jenna Guillaume, a BTS fan and author who also freelances for BuzzFeed, uploaded the interview to Twitter, more and more fans began to jump in.
Guillaume told BuzzFeed News that she found out about the Facebook group interview after a Total Girl staff member brought it up. This Facebook post has since been deleted.
“I was honestly shocked because BTS hasn’t done any Australian media for a while, and Total Girl hasn’t really aligned with the type of posts they seem to be focusing on,” she said. .
Most people online like William were confused at RM doing an interview alone when he is not currently promoting an individual project. Guillaume got the digital version of the magazine and said “it felt right away.”
“The answer on the hidden talents of the members, for example, was not at all like what RM would say. It was very outdated for some and inaccurate for others,” she said.
She showed a friend and they agreed. “She said it was like an AI machine learned the answers to RM’s interviews and spat that out, which is the perfect description,” Guillaume said.
BuzzFeed News has contacted several representatives of Total Girl magazine for comment, but has not received a response. The author of the article has no online footprints and it is not known what country or city she lives in, so we were unable to attempt to contact her.
The bizarre saga is similar to the one that made headlines earlier this year. In January, Seventeen magazine apologized to Lili Reinhart after posting an interview in which someone was posing as the actor.
BTS’s seemingly bogus interview came as the group prepared for a series of interviews to promote their new single in English. BTS was recently interviewed by Rolling Stone, who featured the group on the cover in addition to individual covers and interviews with each member.
The group will release their new single “Butter” on May 21 in the United States.
Daniel Findlay, Associate Editor of Total Girl, told Gizmodo he was devastated to have been duped. Findlay has apologized to Total Girl readers and BTS fans.
“We tried on several occasions to obtain evidence and information about the writer’s interview, but they did not respond to that request,” Findlay said.