Controversy Erupts: Rodeo King & Queen Candidate Accused of Plagiarizing BTS RM’s Speech
The 2024 Rodeo King & Queen pageant in San Pablo, Isabela, Philippines, took an unexpected turn when candidate Lala Cheena Mae Bautista became the center of a viral storm on social media. Accusations surfaced that she had allegedly plagiarized a portion of BTS leader Kim Namjoon’s 2018 United Nations speech during the event.
During the pageant, Bautista was asked a thought-provoking question: “If you were a genie in a bottle, who would you like to serve as your master?” Her response, seemingly inspired by Kim Namjoon’s UN speech, stirred diverse reactions among fans, particularly those of the K-pop group BTS.
In her answer, Bautista expressed her desire to serve her mother as her master and emphasized the importance of self-expression and identity. However, similarities between her response and a segment of Kim Namjoon’s UN speech were quickly noted by fans.
Kim Namjoon’s poignant words at the UN, delivered on September 24, 2018, resonated deeply with millions worldwide. His call for individuals to embrace their identity and speak themselves, regardless of gender, skin color, or background, became iconic within the BTS fandom and beyond.
As Bautista’s speech went viral on social media, allegations of plagiarism surfaced, with fans accusing her of appropriating Kim Namjoon’s words without proper attribution. Some critics condemned her for failing to credit the BTS leader, while others defended her, suggesting that the idol’s UN speech had left an indelible mark on popular culture.
While the controversy surrounding Bautista’s speech continues to unfold, it serves as a reminder of the power of words and the importance of acknowledging the origins of ideas and inspiration. As discussions persist online, the incident prompts reflection on the boundaries between homage, imitation, and plagiarism in the realm of public discourse and performance.