Fans unhappy over BTS’ Jungkook’s collaboration with Justin Timberlake; Here’s why

BTS’ Jungkook trends on Twitter as he returns on Instagram
Credits: Instagram

On November 24, 2023, BigHit Music (now HYBE) unveiled another remix of Jungkook’s hit song “3D,” featuring American artist Justin Timberlake. This collaboration is part of a series of remixes of Jungkook’s songs with various artists, showcasing his widespread recognition in the music industry.

The announcement of the collaboration triggered heated discussions online, primarily due to Justin Timberlake’s alleged stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Some fans expressed disappointment and reluctance to support Timberlake, citing his reported support for Israel. This sentiment led to online discussions about whether fans could separate their admiration for Jungkook from their reservations about Timberlake.

Mixed Reactions Among Fans

While many BTS ARMY members were displeased with the partnership, some expressed their support for Jungkook through other songs and remixes, distancing themselves from Timberlake’s alleged political views. The controversy highlights the challenges that can arise when artists collaborate, especially when political positions become a point of contention among their fanbases.

Background on Timberlake’s Controversial Stance

Netizens pointed out that Justin Timberlake was among several Hollywood celebrities who signed an open letter thanking U.S. President Joe Biden for supporting Israel. This revelation fueled criticism from those who perceived Israel’s actions in the conflict as human rights violations. Timberlake’s association with the letter and his stance on the political crisis added to the disapproval from certain quarters.

Broader Controversies Surrounding Timberlake

Beyond the Israel-Palestine controversy, Justin Timberlake faced criticism for his alleged mistreatment of Britney Spears, which came to light in 2023. These controversies further fueled disapproval and intensified calls for caution in collaborations with artists under scrutiny.

BTS Enlistment Announcements and Jungkook’s Emotional Letter

In the midst of this controversy, HYBE announced on November 22, 2023, that the remaining four members of BTS had initiated their military enlistment process, surprising the fandom. On the same day, Jungkook shared an emotional letter on Weverse, confirming his enlistment in the South Korean military in December 2023.

The letter expressed gratitude to fans and requested their patience until his return in 2025 after completing 18 months of mandatory military service.