Despite outstanding achievements, YG, SM and JYP still drew much criticism from fans over their management in 2021.
2021 is a memorable year for K-pop artists. The Top 3 Korean entertainment companies including SM, YG and JYP also had a great year. However, this year, Big 3 still came under criticism many times because of their management.
YG doesn’t let idols come back and attend award shows
In 2021, YG Entertainment mainly focused on solo activities of artists such as Jisoo, Rosé, Lisa, and Mino. Moreover, activities of BLACKPINK members in fashion and commercials were well-promoted. The company’s dance crew YGX also received much attention from the public after their appearance on Mnet’s hit show “Street Woman Fighter”.
However, because of the focus on artists’ solo activities, in the past year, YG seems to have neglected group activities of BIGBANG, BLACKPINK, WINNER and TREASURE, as these groups have gone a year without any comeback.
iKON only had one activity, which was participating in Mnet’s survival show “Kingdom”. The company refused to allow their artists to attend year-end award shows and music festivals.
YG‘s comeback schedules have always been something fans are frustrated with and criticize the company the most for. Fans worry that their favorite groups will lose the hype after not releasing any new music after a long time.
JYP overworks TWICE, ITZY, Stray Kids
TWICE is the biggest “victim” of JYP. This year, the girl group had 2 comebacks in Korea, 2 comebacks in Japan, released their first-ever English single and is currently holding a world tour. TWICE‘s schedule is so packed that the members’ health conditions are not guaranteed. Jeongyeon repeatedly had to suspend her activities with TWICE for health reasons.
The same as their senior group, ITZY also had a busy year. The group debuted in Japan and had two comebacks in Korea in 2021. The members were also engaged in fashion activities.
As the only boy group of JYP that is still active at the moment, Stray Kids’ schedules are no less tight than TWICE and ITZY. The group participated in Mnet’s “Kingdom” and was excellently crowned the winner. To boost their popularity further, JYP made Stray Kids have a comeback in Korea in August. At the end of November, the group released the song “Christmas EveL” as a special gift for fans.
In addition, ITZY and Stray Kids have also been scheduled by JYP to attend almost every year-end award show and music festival. This makes fans happy because they get to see their idols often, but also raises concern over their health.
SM overly push center member and can’t give up on the “American dream”
If you’re an SM stan, you must be familiar with the company’s tradition of pushing the center member in the spotlight, sparking much controversy. In 2021, what happened to aespa is an example of this controversial tradition of SM.
During aespa‘s promotions, the group’s center is Karina, who is always dressed in the most outstanding outfits, sometimes overshadowing other members. Most fans are extremely angry at SM for this discrimination and ask the company to push all members evenly and give every member the chance to shine.
SM is also criticized for being too obsessed with the “American dream”. After the debut of SuperM targeting the US market without many outstanding successes, SM still insisted on launching a new group project called NCT Hollywood in 2022. SM is mocked by netizens as they attempt to follow the success of BTS, BLACKPINK and MONSTA X in America. Many fans think that the company should focus on groups with good achievements domestically instead of dreaming to conquer American fans.