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Grab Philippines suspends delivery riders who made homophobic remarks about BTS

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Jun 18, 2021 4:42 pm

Grab Philippines recently released a statement after its delivery riders were slammed by Filipino BTS fans for homophobic comments about the K-pop supergroup.

On Thursday, June 17, several hours before the launch of the much-awaited McDonald’s BTS Meal, Grab Philippines said in a statement that it has suspended involved delivery-partners.

“Inclusivity is one of Grab’s core values, and we have a zero-tolerance policy for inexcusable behaviors,” the company said. “We have immediately suspended the delivery-partners in question and will continue to work hard to maintain an inclusive and diverse platform.”

The statement came after screenshots from a Facebook group of Grab delivery riders surfaced online. 

Twitter user @vmindables tweeted screenshots of the said conversations of the group chat between the Grab riders. One of the riders posted an edited photo of BTS members holding up placards that read “BTS Biot.” Biot is a version of “bayot,” a Visayan word for a gay person which was used recently to insult the K-pop group’s members.

Other riders chimed in, with a couple even saying they would take the day off on June 18 to avoid the influx of orders, while others pointed out that the meal is available for one month.

With this, @vmindables urges BTS’ Filipino fans called Filo ARMYs to book directly via the fast food chain instead.

“Filo ARMYs, maybe it’s better to use the McDonald’s delivery services instead of ordering your  BTS Meals through @grabph food. Baka mas deserve ng McDonald’s yung delivery fees more than these people.”

She also called out Grab Philippines to “teach your drivers/riders proper manners and professionalism.”

Grab reached out to the twitter user and replied to her message publicly, “Hi Via! We don’t tolerate such acts of drivers. We can guarantee that we’re already looking into this. See you on the McDo x BTS Day! *purple heart emoji*”

Filo ARMYs also trooped to Grab’s Facebook page and aired their disappointment over the incident. 

One said, “Please educate your riders about gender sensitivity and overall just good manners/basic human decency in general before you let them operate.”

“Homophobia is not okay not only towards BTS but to all (who are) part of the LGBTQ+ community. Kudos to the riders who know how to respect other people and are working hard for their families,” another one noted.

The McDonald’s BTS Meal, which will be available in almost 50 countries worldwide, rolled out in the Philippines today, June 18. The meal consists of fries, a drink, and 10-piece Chicken McNuggets with Sweet Chili and Cajun sauces. 

Many of the group’s fans—and those who are curious—are expected to troop to the fast food chain's branches to get the meal. But because of the pandemic, many prefer to have their orders delivered.

In its statement, Grab said, “Our delivery-partners continue to provide significant services for our kababayans during these trying times. 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 the Grab platform to support their families.”