Simon Cowell slammed by BTS fans after saying One Direction was last ‘megastar boyband’

Simon Cowell (centre) has launched a new campaign to find a new boy band, like One Direction (pictured in 2013). (Getty)

Simon Cowell has incurred the wrath of BTS and K-pop fans after opening up about his hunt for the next boy band, calling One Direction the most successful boy band in recent years.

The X-Factor judge has said that he’s looking to create a new boy band almost a decade after One Direction announced their split in 2015. The internationally successful group were signed to Cowell’s record label Syco Records after coming in third place in the singing competition in 2010.

However, the music mogul failed to recognise the international success of K-pop artists in the exact market he’s trying to tap back into. 

Cowell’s campaign was recently launched in the UK, with a billboard showcasing the record executive re-creating Lord Kitchener’s iconic WWI poster with the words: “Simon needs you! Future megastars wanted for new boyband. No time wasters.”

“Every generation deserves a megastar boy band and I don’t think there has been one to have the success of One Direction in over 14 years,” Cowell boldly claimed via a statement.

“The industry tends to focus on solo artists – so it usually takes someone from outside to put a group together. Nothing beats the fun of being in a group, touring the world and performing for thousands,” he said.

You may like to watch

K-pop boy bands like BTS, Stray Kids, and Seventeen have garnered international acclaim in recent years, but Cowell appeared to survey the current boyband scene through a Western lens, as many fans pointed out.

“My brother in Christ BTS literally exists, get out of your west bubble,” one person responded.

“Ermm… Someone please make him aware of BTS,” a third person wrote, while a different fan added: “BTS exists?”

“BTS is literally bigger than 1D ever was,” another fan of the band commented, with BTS actually dethroning One Direction with a total of 23 Guinness World Records for music streams and digital downloads, according to reports.

PinkNews has contacted a representative of Simon Cowell for a comment.

The music mogul previously made a sweeping claim that now is the time to “launch UK-Pop”.

In 2019, he said via The Sun: “K-pop is ruling the world…It’s more than winning a record contract, it’s starting a new music wave.

“It’s people who represent Britain’s version of K-pop. That was always our plan. We’ve just brought it forward a bit.”

Auditions for his new project are set to start in Newcastle on 4 July, with further audition dates taking place over the next month in Liverpool, Dublin and London.

Please login or register to comment on this story.