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Grab Suspends Riders Over Homophobic Comments on BTS and Its Fans

'Zero-tolerance for inexcusable behaviors'.
by Ara Eugenio
Just now
Photo/s: shutterstock

Grab said it suspended delivery riders who issued homophobic statements against fans of Kpop group BTS, touting the Southeast Asian super-app's "zero-tolerance policy for inexcusable behaviors". 

Although Grab did not explicitly address the fandom, the statement included an illustration of a delivery rider with a BTS meal in their hands. Food delivery apps are expecting a surge in orders on Friday for the first day of the McDonald's BTS Meal in the Philippines.

"We have immediately suspended the delivery-partners in question and will continue to work hard to maintain an inclusive and diverse platform," Grab said in a statement.

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This was understood to be a response to a Twitter post that went viral wherein screenshots of a thread from a rider community group showed some riders commenting homophobic slurs against BTS fans. 

The post in question said "Handa na ba kayong mag day off sa Friday mga ka BIOT?" and its comments section had mentions of phrases such as "biot," "biot meal," "bayot day," and "BTS niyo biot". 

"Biot", most commonly spelled as "bayot", is a Visayan word for "gay". While the term simply refers to a particular sexual orientation, it can be derogatory in some contexts, especially in the Philippines where those with backward views weaponize it against members of the gay community.

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In the thread posted by Twitter user @vmindables, Grab Philippines was urged to "teach [its[ drivers/riders proper manners and professionalism" as they promoted to boycott the delivery platform over the incident.

In response, Grab appealed to "not let the actions of a few select individuals" affect their entire rider community.

"We hope that our consumers will not let the actions of a few select individuals affect the livelihoods of many delivery-partners who rely on the Grab platofrm to support their families," it said.


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