IN CASE YOU MISSED IT // APRIL 22 - APRIL 28

Hello and welcome to another great edition of In Case You Missed It!

APRIL 22 - APRIL 28


Hello and welcome to another great edition of In Case You Missed It! This week it was a drama-filled week this week, with various in-fighting happening at HYBE. Where we HYBE accused the CEO of ADOR, Min Heejin of attempting to exercise a coup from the conglomerate. In addition to this, there were also various rumours and conspiracy theories going on surrounding HYBE, as well as new releases from NCT's Doyoung, Zico & more. So make sure to keep reading if any of these topics interest you.


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BY POLARIS_TAE


MONDAY:
#1- The Min Heejin/ADOR x HYBE scandal ruled the headlines throughout the week. ADOR kicked off the week by sharing their official stance on fellow HYBE group, ILLIT. They dropped an official statement accusing ILLIT — that debuted under HYBE’s BE:LIFT LAB label — of copying NewJeans and blatantly criticising the group for being an ‘imitation NewJeans’. The statement further went on to criticise its parent company HYBE and its founder Bang Si-hyuk. The statement detailed that the label and its chairman are “blinded by short-term profits and copies [the] successful cultural content” produced by Min Heejin for NewJeans. The label also stated that “ADOR has already raised an official issue with HYBE and BE:LIFT LAB” regarding a series of issues related to NewJeans (including the plagiarism allegations). Following ADOR’s official statement, HYBE took to the media to share with XportNews that they had officially invoked the ‘right to audit’ their sub-label [ADOR] after it had come to light that the agency was looking to detach itself from HYBE. Later that same day, the label officially launched the audit process against ADOR.

#2- ILLIT took to social media on Monday to share the name of their official fandom. Sadly, it would be announced that they would be changing their fandom name after it was found that the name that they had chosen, LILLY, was too similar to BLACKPINK Lisa’s fandom name (LILLY) & the first name of NMIXX’s main vocalist, Lily, thus necessitating the name change. What name do you think would be a great alternative?

#3- Our final update for Monday concerns the various contract negotiations that took place throughout the week. More artists made their departure from the Jay Park-founded label, AOMG this week. The label’s former co-CEO, Simon Dominic left the label on Monday after 10 years with the company. Then on Friday it was announced that Code Kunst would also be leaving AOMG. Now moving on and BB Girls officially departed their label of one year, Warner Music Korea, in order to establish their own company: BB Girls Company. Sadly, this exciting announcement came with some regretful news as well. It was shared that Yujeong would be officially leaving the group. This left the remaining BB Girls members to reorganise the group into a trio.



TUESDAY:
#1- The drama between HYBE & Min Heejin didn’t stop on Tuesday. After announcing their plans to conduct an audit on the subsidiary [ADOR] on Monday, the label later requested the return of the company laptops of all ADOR staff, including the one provided to ADOR CEO, Min Heejin. However, HYBE shared on Wednesday that, while all other ADOR staff including VP ‘A’ successfully handed in their devices on time, Min Heejin herself failed to comply with the label’s request to return all of her devices and company information assets by 6 pm on the 23rd of April. Meanwhile, the day prior the CEO of HYBE Labels, Park Jiwon, shared a company-wide email detailing the takeover plans coordinated by Min and the wider ADOR staff. Park divulged that the hostile takeover at ADOR was planned before ILLIT even made their debut — which Min says her main grievance with the label stems from — while also addressing ADOR directly stating that HYBE’s main priority remains with the artists — NewJeans — in order to ensure that they are not shaken by this internal disagreement. Park later addressed BE:LIFT stating that he, “knows better than anyone how hard they worked on ILLIT's debut and to not be hurt by untrue statements and to continue to work hard for the groups’ success.” Then again on Wednesday, HYBE shared with Channel A News that they had discovered a critical document document during their internal auditing process of ADOR titled “Project 1945”. The document, written last month has been a crucial piece of evidence detailing ADOR’s plans to secede from the wider HYBE label in order to establish its independence. The document reportedly contains points regarding lawsuits, civil suits, media play plans, and more. The exact details of “Project 1945” have not been publicly divulged, with only verbal statements from HYBE employees shared to the press.

#2- Tuesday also marked the return of former HOTSHOT & WANNAONE member Ha Sungwoon following the completion of his mandatory military service. Are you happy to see him back?

#3- This week it was shared that Japanese pop duo, YOASOBI had signed a contract with the US-based Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for promotions across the Americas. Furthermore, the duo shared that they have a few solo performances lined up across the US as well! The group will be performing in New York at Radio City Music Hall on the 6th of August, followed by a show in Boston at the MGM Music Hall in Fenway on the 8th of August. Are you looking forward to seeing more international activities from YOASOBI?

WEDNESDAY:
#1- We had two concert & entertainment-related announcements this week! On Monday, MBC Show! Music Core in Japan shared the first line-up for their special half-year broadcast. Fantasy Boys, ILLIT, NiziU, NCT Wish & more are set to perform at the two-day event between the 29th and 30th of June at the Belluna Dome. Then on Wednesday, it was announced that mimiirose will be performing at the 1st Superhero concert on the 1st of May. Are you looking forward to any of these upcoming events?



THURSDAY:
#1- On Thursday, Min Heejin held a press conference where she went into details regarding her conflict with HYBE as well as her souring relationship with the label’s founder, “Hitman” Bang Si-hyuk. Prior to the press conference, HYBE had released a statement to the media detailing that Min had previously divulged company secrets with a shaman that she was in regular contact with. This involved discussing the BTS member's impending enlistment, divulging when would be the appropriate time to seceded from HYBE and more. Now moving on to the press conference, Min addressed the rumours related to her involvement in GFRIEND’s disbandment, which had arisen after it came to light that Min Heejin — in order to create and manage NewJeans — had taken Source Music’s people and resources over to ADOR to prepare for the group’s initial debut. In addition, it was shared that Source Music had to bare the training costs of all of the NewJeans trainee debt, despite the members not being under Source Music at the time. This led many to believe that Min had been indirectly responsible for the disbandment of GFRIEND, as her actions left Source Music in too much debt to manage the girl group — which was immensely successful at the time of disbandment — while also leading netizens to believe that LE SSERAFIM’s initial debut was rushed in order for source to recover NewJean’s training costs. This is an accusation that the ADOR CEO has staunchly denied by stating that the disbandment of the group had absolutely nothing to do with her. She further went on to criticise HYBE for putting profits over everything else and stated that she wished that the label would operate in a similar way to SM Entertainment. Presumably in the way it has only one girl/boy group per idol generation, rather that the multiple groups that HYBE has been operating out of its various sub-labels. Overall, it was a very eclectic press conference, where the ADOR CEO launched into various criticisms against both HYBE and its executives. Nevertheless, she was seemingly able to sway the Korean public into supporting her as a disgruntled employee, despite the fact that she is the highest-paid HYBE executive within the label. HYBE would later refute her claims in a detailed statement released the following day.



FRIDAY:
#1- There were various comeback and debut announcements shared throughout the week! On Monday, BIBI & GOT7’s Jackson shared that they would be releasing a collaboration through 88rising. The collaboration was officially released on Friday. Then on Friday, BTS’ leader RM revealed that he will be dropping his 2nd solo album, “Right Place, Wrong Person” on the 24th of May. Following RM’s comeback announcement, several netizens concluded that HYBE was attempting to block NewJeans success after they found issue with RM’s comeback taking place on the same day that NewJeans are scheduled to make their comeback with their latest single-album. HYBE later shared that they had already discussed the release date with CEO Min. They were reportedly told by her that the clash between the two releases was no problem, which led BigHit to proceed with the originally planned release date. Then in Japan, we have idol groups preparing new releases! LDH’s defunct unit, SG5, also known as Sailor Guardians 5, are preparing to rebrand under the new name f5ve. Meanwhile, Produce 101 Japan the Girls associated group IS:SUE — a sister group to ME:i — will be making their debut on the 19th of June. Are you looking forward to any of these upcoming releases?

#2- The KBS Joy travel variety program, “Pick Me Trip” found itself in hot water after its cast and crew — a total of 30 individuals — found themselves detained for filming without a permit. The cast and crew of the “Pick Me Trip” program ultimately had their passports confiscated while they were being questioned by the Balinese authorities. SNSD’s Hyoyeon, Apink’s Bomi, SECRET NUMBER’s Dita & former-ioi member Lim Nayoung were among those detained. The “Pick Me” cast and crew members would later be released from detention and they — presumably the production staff behind the variety — were fined a 100 million KRW fee for “unauthorised filming”.

#3- There were a few relationship updates as well this week! On Tuesday it was shared that Apink’s Bomi & Rado of the Black Eyed Pilseung production duo are currently in a relationship. It was also shared that they had been in a relationship for at least the past 8 years. Are you shocked that they were able to successfully hide it from the public for so long? On Wednesday, Japanese soloist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu shared that she was pregnant with her first child. This comes following her 2024 marriage to actor Hayama Shono. Then on Friday, it was shared that ALICE’s Sohee would be leaving the entertainment industry following the announcement that she would be marrying a businessman 15 years her senior. While on Sunday, actor and former TOUCH member Sunwoong took to Instagram to announce that they had officially tied the knot. We congratulate the pair and wish them our best!



SATURDAY:
#1- There were four separate disbandment announcements this week. On Monday, FNC took to social media to announce the official disbandment of Cherry Bullet. Four members — Remi, Haeyoon, Jiwon & May — would be leaving FNC, while Yuju, Bora & Chaerin would continue individual activities under the label. Then on Wednesday, it was shared that the Japanese idol group, Dempagumi.inc would be disbanding in early 2025 after 16 years as a group. Another Japanese idol group, the LDH x HYBE Japan-associated girl group, MOONCHILD also announced their disbandment this week. The group made their debut in May 2023 with the EP, DELICIOUS POISON. The following day, it was revealed that Kep1er had not reached an agreement in regards to a possible contract extension and, as such, would be officially disbanding in July. Our final disbandment update concerns Kpop group NATURE. On Saturday it was shared that the idol group would be disbanding after almost six years together. Are you sad to see these groups go?



SUNDAY:
#1- Our final update of the week concerns HYBE & BTS. During the latter half of the week, HYBE was accused of a — currently unproven — theory of being involved in a cult. According to several online communities accused the conglomerate of having ties to Dhan World, or Body & Brain, a cult-like organisation founded by Ilchi Lee (Lee Seung-heun), who also founded Global Cyber University. A college that various Kpop idols such as members of ATEEZ & BTS, as well as Stray Kids’ Hyunjin have all previously attended. The organisation in question is described by Rolling Stone as the ‘yoga cult‘. A pseudo-science-based cult-like organisation that while rooted within Korea, has also begun to establish itself abroad. Most notably in the US where they have been known to recruit directly out of American universities. The group's “yoga” practices — according to Rolling Stone — reportedly consist of training in martial arts rather than traditional yoga, while also engaging in practices such as a head-shaking meditation while holding “palm-size rubber vibrating brains” that reportedly cost over $80 USD a pair. Following this practice, the practitioners will then discuss their feelings in a “sharing circle”. The organisation also holds group seminars where, according to Rolling Stone, believers would begin the morning by punching themselves in the stomach while shouting “I am stupid!” for the low-low price of 8.5K USD! Overall, this cult is a highly elaborate scam designed to generate an endless amount of money to fund an exorbitant life for its founder, Ilchi Lee. The cult has reportedly siphoned over $30 million USD from gullible practitioners within the US alone during a single year-long period. Following this accusation, HYBE has shared with Sports Donga that they are currently “looking into” this allegation, alongside other accusations of favouritism, sagaeji and concept theft, an accusation that they have since denied. Meanwhile, the saegaeji accusations were proven false through a 2017 blackmail case against a former CEO of a contracting firm. Then, directly following this announcement, HYBE’s independent label, BigHit Music released a statement that they would be pursuing legal action against those caught spreading libel or defamation against BTS. BTS is busy conducting their mandatory military service, with their eldest member, Jin set to return in a little over a month. However, they, along with other HYBE groups such as LE SSERAFIM & ILLIT have been caught up in the ongoing conflict between HYBE & Min Heejin. A reminder that these cult-association are rumours and should really be taken with a serious grain of salt. Since, until proven to be true — or otherwise — labelling an agency with the “cult” associated label could be seen as a libel or defamatory statement. What are your thoughts on these developments?

 

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BY POLARIS_TAE

#1- Despite the tumultuous week for the entertainment conglomerate, various HYBE groups and artists were able to attain new records and achievements! The Zico-produced rookie boy group, BOYNEXTDOOR were able to surpass their personal 1st-week sales record with their latest release “HOW?” selling over 530K during its first seven days of release.

#2- BTS’ maknae Jungkook’s debut solo album, GOLDEN took the crown for the most streamed album of all time released by an Asian soloist on Spotify. We congratulate the idol on such a massive achievement!

#3- ILLIT’s “Magnetic” was able to achieve its first Perfect-All-Kill (PAK) this week. But that’s not all. The HYBE-associated idol group was also able to surpass 500K physical sales on the Hanteo (Circle) chart.

#4- Now moving over to Japan and the newly debuted Produce 101 Japan the Girls' idol group, ME:i’s debut album, MIRAI has already surpassed 250K sales on Billboard Japan. Congrats!

 

 

~ thanks for reading 


Goo Hara

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