61.1 F
Los Angeles
Thursday, June 13, 2024

BTS’s ARMY to mobilize against HYBE to protect group amid ADOR spat

Must read

- Advertisement -
ARMY members wait in line to visit BTS's pop-up store ″Monochrome,″ currently located in Seongdong District, eastern Seoul, through May 12.
ARMY members wait in line to visit BTS’s pop-up store ″Monochrome,″ currently located in Seongdong District, eastern Seoul, through May 12.

Some 70 members of ARMY, the devoted fandom of BTS, plan to participate in shareholder activism against HYBE to press for stronger measures to shield the boy band from proliferating rumors and speculation.

The group comprises minority shareholders in Korea who acquired shares of the label out of loyalty to BTS. However, the members have claimed that HYBE takes a passive approach to protecting the band from rumors sparked by ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin’s public spat with her label’s parent company in which she publicly criticized HYBE’s management practices and its multi-label system.

BTS, as the iconic K-pop act and largest contributor to HYBE’s success as a genre powerhouse, became embroiled in rampant speculation. The group’s label BigHit Music, formerly Big Hit Entertainment, was accused of rigging music charts and album sales in 2017 while promoting the band. Rumors have also spread that the label is linked to a meditation company, Dahn World, widely speculated to be a cult.

BigHit denied both claims, but the ARMY shareholders want HYBE to more actively protect the artists and communicate with the fandom. They will utilize a separate online platform consisting of minority shareholders to send a letter to the agency with their demands. Moreover, they plan to leverage their shareholder proposal rights during the shareholders’ meeting upon securing a 1 percent stake, the threshold for the right to suggest agenda items to the board of directors.

“Each quarter, the agency posts notices about ongoing legal measures, but without detailed information on who received what penalties or the current status of proceedings,” an X user within the activist group told the Hankyoreh, a local newspaper. “Thus, fans remain in the dark about the company’s legal actions.”

“Amid the ongoing management dispute, various rumors regarding BTS have surfaced, but the agency has yet not released a statement with specific clarification, therefore exacerbating the situation.”

The ARMY fandom has also initiated protests to voice their opinions to HYBE from last week, publishing full-page advertisements in local newspapers and sending wreaths of flowers adorned with messages disparaging HYBE’s management to the company’s headquarters in Yongsan District, central Seoul.

Global fans are taking their demonstration online, uploading posts with the hashtag “South Korea apologize to BTS” after news broke that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism ordered an investigation into the alleged chart-rigging practice from 2017.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]