Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande dominated nominations for the MTV Video MusicAwards (VMA) with ten apiece, but some K-pop fans cried foul when best-selling Korean bands were placed in a separate category.
Grande’s breakup anthem “thank u, next” and Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down,” in which she criticizes social media trolls and those who attack LGBTQ people; will contend for the top prizes of song of the year, best pop and video of the year.
Grande also got a nod for artist of the year along with rapper Cardi B, 17-year-old newcomer Billie Eilish, Halsey, the Jonas Brothers and Shawn Mendes.
Korean boy band BTS, which has led a K-pop music wave in the United States and scored three No.1 albums on the Billboard chart in the past year, got just four nods, including three in the newly created K-pop category.
“BTS outsold,,,, EVERY SINGLE,,, artist in the artist of the year category but the VMAs didn’t wanna see that so they made a whole new category just to not acknowledge the power and influence BTS has had over the whole industry,” tweeted a BTS fan called Chioma.
“I am getting so sick of the westerners not giving BTS the due respect. They ignore stats, facts, achievements, charts and the people as well,” a user called Shivani Shintre posted on CTwitter.
MTV did not return a call for comment.
Fans vote on the winners of the VMA awards, which will be announced at a show in Newark, New Jersey, on 26 August, but they do not vote on the nominations.
“Boy With Luv,” a collaboration between BTS and American singer Halsey, received nods for best collaboration, art direction and choreography. Other nominees in the K-pop field include girl band Black Pink, Monsta X, NCT 127, EXO and Tomorrow X Together.
The new Video for Good field features songs deemed to have raised awareness. It includes Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down,” Halsey’s female-empowering “Nightmare,” Lil Dicky’s environmentally themed “Earth” and John Legend’s “Preach” about social injustices.
Other nominees in the category include The Killers’ “Land Of The Free,” a protest against US President Donald Trump’s planned wall on the US-Mexican border, and “Runaway Train” about missing children.