Fans criticized HYBE for treating their original artists better than subsidiary companies’ artists (GFriend, NU’EST)

HYBE Labels, formerly BIGHIT Entertainment, is one of the largest entertainment companies in Korea. The company is also known for its tendency to acquire smaller competitors.

HYBE owns an extremely famous and powerful artist lineup such as BTS, TXT, ENHYPEN, SEVENTEEN and formerly NU’EST, GFRIEND.

 "Global group" BTS belongs to HYBE Labels.  (Photo: BIGHIT MUSIC)
 “Global group” BTS belongs to HYBE Labels.  (Photo: BIGHIT MUSIC)

Recently, the news of NU’EST disbanding after 10 years is extremely heart-breaking to fans.  Before HYBE bought PLEDIS Entertainment, many people thought that NU’EST had chosen the wrong company to debut because of its weak and lacking management system. The members of the group even had to participate in the survival program “Produce 101” to regain their reputation even though they had previously had 2 hits: “Face” and “Good Bye Bye.”

In May 2020, HYBE officially became the largest shareholder of PLEDIS. This once gave fans hope that NU’EST will bloom again when working under BTS’s company. However, just over a year later, NU’EST officially disbanded, with only Baekho and Minhyun renewing their contracts, making fans regret.

After many efforts to regain their reputation, NU'EST still disbanded.  (Photo: Pinterest)
After many efforts to regain their reputation, NU’EST still disbanded.  (Photo: Pinterest)

This is not the first time HYBE has lost a talented group. In July 2019, HYBE officially acquired Source Music and GFRIEND was officially managed by the same company as BTS. At that time, many fans hoped that with HYBE’s great investment ability and reputation, GFRIEND would return to its golden time, like when they conquered the digital music charts with “Rough,” “Navillera” or “Fingertip.”

HYBE buying Source Music makes fans expect GFRIEND to return to its heyday with “Rough” and “Navillera.”  (Photo: Pinterest)
HYBE buying Source Music makes fans expect GFRIEND to return to its heyday with “Rough” and “Navillera.”  (Photo: Pinterest)

However, GFRIEND‘s achievements were increasingly declining and falling behind their colleagues such as BLACKPINK, TWICE and Red Velvet. The songs that the group released, such as “Apple” and “Mago”, also gradually lost their inherent musicality.

 GFRIEND's songs are slowly losing their quality.  (Photo: Pinterest)
 GFRIEND’s songs are slowly losing their quality.  (Photo: Pinterest)

In May 2021, GFRIEND members decided not to renew their contracts with their management company. After leaving the agency where they have been with for many years, Yuju made a solo debut, while Umji, Eunha and SinB re-debuted as VIVIZ and the other members went their own ways.

In November 2021, HYBE was also criticized by SEVENTEEN fans for making the group dance intimately with female dancers at the POWER OF LOVE online concert. The members’ image is also affected a lot because of this choreography.

HYBE was criticized for letting SEVENTEEN dance intimately with female dancers. (Photo: Pinterest)
HYBE was criticized for letting SEVENTEEN dance intimately with female dancers. (Photo: Pinterest)

Contrary to the company’s mistreatment of artists under member companies, the groups originally from HYBE itself are invested in a grandiose and thoughtful way. BTS regularly performs on big stages in the US and Europe. The group even held a live concert in the US after 2 years of the pandemic and have been collaborating with many big artists of the Western music market.

Recently, TXT collaborated with famous DJ Alan Walker and female artist Salem Ilese. Meanwhile, ENHYPEN is also preparing for the group’s live concert as announced by HYBE to Korean media.

HYBE Labels is undeniably one of the most influential names in Korea nowadays. However, the fact that this big company takes better care of its original artists than artists of subsidiary companies makes fans angry.

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