A printing company in Russia has allegedly rejected to print images of K-pop boyband BTS, claiming that pictures of the band would cause children “to become perverts.”
According to the Russian Times, the owners of PinkyPop Café, a K-pop-themed establishment in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg, had claimed that they had ordered images of K-pop groups BTS and Stray Kids to be printed as greeting cards, banners, and several other merchandises.
However, in a series of now-deleted Instagram Stories, the café explained that the printing company purportedly turned down their order after the latter saw its contents. “We discussed all the work and details and placed our first order,” the owners wrote. “After seeing the photos of the bands BTS and Stray Kids, which they were supposed to print, they began to ignore us.”
The PinkyPop Café later published supposed text messages (as archived by Super in Russian) with the printing supplier, in which the supplier asked, “Do I understand correctly that these people have a non-traditional orientation?” The printing company representative then declared that they would not be going through with the order, claiming that the group is not “hiding their orientation.”
The supplier reportedly continued to chastise the café, asking if they wanted “[their] children to become perverts,” adding that it would be “stupid to support something that would leave you with no grandchildren.”
According to the Russian news outlet Super, the printing company initially declined to respond to the allegations. However, the company’s head later told the press that the establishment had “enough ‘normal’ clients to be able to choose who to work with and who not to.”
In 2013, Russia introduced a law that banned the “promotion of non-traditional sexual values among minors” as part of a bill that sought to protect children from abuse and prevented the erosion of “family values,” per the Russian Times.
In defense of these measures, President Vladimir Putin had argued that the law targets “gay propaganda,” adding that it had “nothing to do persecuting individuals for their sexual orientation.”