AceShowbiz - K-pop band BLACKPINK's new reality show has been shelved after their handling of a baby panda in the video sparked backlash in China and South Korea.
The "Kill This Love" hitmakers were shown holding Fu Bao, a baby panda born in July, in the promo for their new show, "24/365 with BLACKPINK" - sparking accusations they had endangered the animal's health by not wearing the correct protective gloves.
Representatives of their label, YG Entertainment, denied they had breached safety protocols in place to protect pandas from disease, but announced the show would not go live on their YouTube channel this week (end November 15) as planned.
"When BLACKPINK met the baby panda, all members wore hygiene gloves, masks and protective clothing ... hands and shoes were disinfected at every transition," their statement, as reported by The Guardian, reads.
"Nevertheless, in respect of international cooperation practices and recommendations from panda experts who say that nonprofessionals having close contact with the baby panda can cause misunderstandings, we decided to withhold the release of the related video."
The panda cub was introduced to the public last week after its arrival to parents brought to South Korea from China in 2016 as part of China's "panda diplomacy" initiative, which sends the animals to zoos overseas.
The footage of BLACKPINK handling Fu Bao sparked fury in China, with users of Weibo, China's version of Twitter, denouncing their handling of the animal while wearing make-up in posts that received millions of views.
"Blackpink" and "panda" hashtags also trended on South Korean Twitter after the trailer's release, with some users urging officials to return the pandas, complaining they are not native animals and are too costly to look after.