MANILA - After earning the ire of Filipino fans of K-pop superstars BTS, Grab Philippines has suspended delivery partners who were implicated in a series of social media posts containing homophobic slurs against the boyband.
In a statement released on Thursday, Grab assured customers that they have zero tolerance for inexcusable behaviors while vowing to maintain an inclusive and diverse platform.
"Inclusivity is one of Grab's core values, and we have zero-tolerance policy for inexcusable behaviors," Grab said.
"We have immediately suspended the delivery-partners in question and will continue to work hard to maintain an inclusive and diverse platform."
Filipino ARMYs (the name of BTS' fandom) called out the delivery service platform after a series of screenshots went viral showing alleged Grab drivers who were making fun of BTS.
The Grab drivers were commenting on the expected spike in delivery orders for a limited edition BTS meal from McDonalds.
The alleged riders called the boyband "BTS biot." Biot is pronounced the same as "bayot", which is a Bisaya word for a gay person.
Some fans even called for a boycott on Grab Philippines and instead just order directly to the fastfood restaurant to avail the BTS meal and for other delivery orders as well.
But Grab said they hope customers would not generalize their delivery partners with this incident.
"We hope that our consumers will not let the actions of a few select individuals affect the livelihoods of the many delivery partners who rely on Grab platform to support their families," Grab said.
The BTS Meal includes 10 pieces of chicken nuggets, a serving of fries, soda, and sweet chili and cajun sauces inspired by the fast food chain's branches in South Korea.
It is a result of a collaboration between McDonald's and the K-pop boy band BTS and is available in 50 markets, including the Philippines.
In preparation for the BTS Meal launch in the country on Friday, June 18, McDonald's Philippines has also set up purple-themed decor and interactive props, as well as a TikTok campaign featuring crew members dancing to the K-pop band's hits.
The limited-edition offer will be available in the Philippines "while supplies last."