BTS’ fans, also known as the ARMY, were accused of manipulating the music charts with mass buying of their music. The K-pop group’s leader, RM, has now addressed the allegations.

Billboard’s latest story on BTS has unleashed the wrath of ARMYs, in an unexpected turn of events.

As the seven men flaunted summery and vintage vibes, donning luxurious outfits, they sat for Billboard’s cover story for 2021. The company is also releasing a Limited Edition Box Collection Set of BTS with eight individual covers for each member.

While Billboard articles usually give fans a whole lot of insight and new content, their latest article Inside the Business of BTS – And the Challenges Ahead has turned 180 degrees. ARMYs are gradually taking over the micro-blogging site, Twitter, and demanding an apology.

The article came straight to the point of ‘chart manipulation’ allegations ARMY were accused of, during “Butter” and “Permission to Dance” release time. It talks about fans’ whole mechanics and strategy of trying to make BTS top Billboard charts by organized streaming and buying albums in bulk. It also mentions certain fans of other celebrities accusing ARMYs of the same.

The allegations do not sit right with ARMY and it looks like it didn’t sit right with BTS’ leader, RM, either. ARMY and BTS have an inseparable bond. Even a slight negative comment about any of them can make the other one bounce with anger.

Speaking with Billboard Magazine, BTS members were asked about the manipulation allegations. BTS leader RM said, “It’s a fair question. But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it’s up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking. Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don’t know if that’s right … It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty.”

The magazine also asked Shin Young-jae, president of BTS’ label, Big Hit Music (a HYBE subsidiary), if ‘HYBE itself organises fans in any chart manipulation.’ He said with a chuckle, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually had the ability to mastermind such a thing? I get that there are market developments [related to BTS] that are head-scratchers for some people. But I don’t believe the U.S. market is one that can be handily topped by downloads alone. We think the songs’ impact was shown in many ways, and we are proud of that achievement.”

ARMYs are also boycotting the Magazine and spreading the word about it. They have been tweeting under the hashtag #BillboardApologizeToBTS.