From bullying to plagiarism allegations, LE SSERAFIM swept up in controversies ahead of debut 

Amid a member’s bullying controversy, LE SSERAFIM has been accused of plagiarism. 

LE SSERAFIM, the first-ever junior girl group of BTS formed through the collaboration of HYBE and Source Music, has been making headlines before their upcoming debut in May due to controversies. While the school bullying rumors of member Kim Garam are still creating a stir, Kim Chaewon’s debut teaser video came under suspicion of plagiarism. 

LE SSERAFIM – Kim Chaewon
Kim Chae Won
Chaewon stuns with a bob haircut 
She shows off sexy and rebellious aura through the teaser 

Kim Chaewon will debut as the leader of LE SSERAFIM. In the teaser video, she left an impression with a bob haircut and sexy outfits, showing off a bold and alluring charisma. However, shortly after its release, Chaewon’s video was accused of plagiarising the Ride ’em on down MV by The Rolling Stones, starring American actress Kristen Stewart.

Ride ‘Em On Down – The Rolling Stones

Korean netizens have pointed out many similar details in Kim Chaewon‘s video with the 2016 MV of the legendary British band. From the outfit with the white crop top and sunglasses, the blue lollipop eating scene, the dancing at the gas station scene, to the background music, the resemblance is obvious. 

Kim Chaewon’s outfit and her dancing at the gas station…
immediately reminds netizens of Kristen Stewart in Ride ’em on down
Or the part where Kim Chaewon eats a blue candy and shows her tongue…
… also seems to be inspired by this famous scene 

Netizens wonder if LE SSERAFIM was using Ride ‘Em On Down as a reference to pay homage to The Rolling Stones or this video is simply poor-quality plagiarism:

  • Similar outfits and concepts but the quality is nowhere near the same 
  • I don’t think this is plagiarism. But they definitely used Ride ‘Em On Down as a reference, like a way to pay homage. But it does look like a cheap version of the original. 
  • Kristen looks so effortlessly cool while Kim Chaewon looks forced. Why would the company force her into a sexy concept? She suits a lovely and innocent image like when she was in IZ*ONE.
  • It looks like a parody video made for fun.
  • The blue lollipop scenes and the gas station scenes are identical. 
  • This is an obvious reference, yet the quality is so… Especially the dance at the gas station part. 
  • This is embarrassing 

Besides plagiarism accusations, Kim Chaewon’s teasers for LE SSERAFIM’s debut also sparked controversy among Korean netizens over how drastically different she looks compared to her image in IZ*ONE. Many Korean fans have expressed dissatisfaction with how Kim Chaewon was dressed in revealing outfits and posed in a sexy way while she is best known for an innocent and lovely image. 

Kim Chae-won
Kim Chae-won
Kim Chaewon’s teasers draw mixed reactions  
Kim Chae-won
Many Korean netizens are unhappy seeing her in a sexy concept…
… because it is so different from Chaewon’s past image when she was active with I*ZONE

LE SSERAFIM hasn’t officially debuted yet, but the group has already been involved in several controversies. Will they be able to turn the situation around with their talent, charm and quality music in the future? Let’s wait and see. 

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