Min Hee-jin: Everything is Because ILLIT Copied NewJeans?

Amid ongoing accusations against Min Hee-jin, ADOR has released an official statement with their position

On the afternoon of April 22, it was reported that HYBE has sent a letter requesting CEO Min Hee-jin of NewJeans’ agency, ADOR, to resign. This action is a response to the label’s investigation against Min Hee-jin and another ADOR executive.

It is known that HYBE has initiated an audit on ADOR after accusations of an executive leaking confidential documents and trade secrets necessary for ADOR’s independence from HYBE.

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As a result, Min Hee-jin has been called “ungrateful” for her actions, leading to heavy criticism.

In response to ongoing accusations, however, ADOR has released an official statement, revealing the position of the company of CEO Min Hee-jin. The statement also accused ILLIT of copying NewJeans, leading to lack of trust.

The full statement from ADOR is as below:

“Hello. This is ADOR Co., Ltd.

In order to protect our artist, NewJeans and to promote the healthy development of the Korean music industry and culture, ADOR is making a public statement regarding the ‘ILLIT – NewJeans copy incident’.

HYBE operates a multi-label system to pursue cultural diversity by allowing various labels to independently create their music. ADOR is one of those labels. However, the cultural achievements made by ADOR and its affiliated artist NewJeans are ironically being most severely infringed by HYBE.

One of HYBE’s labels, Belift Lab, debuted the 5-member girl group ILLIT in March this year. After the teaser photos of ILLIT were released, there was an explosive online reaction stating that they initially mistook them for NewJeans. ILLIT is copying NewJeans in all areas of entertainment activities, including hair, makeup, costumes, choreography, photos, videos, and event appearances. ILLIT is being evaluated as ‘Min Hee-jin’s style,’ ‘Min Hee-jin’s genre,’ and ‘NewJeans’ imitator.’

This is truly embarrassing. Bang Si-hyuk, chairman of HYBE, produced ILLIT’s debut album. The NewJeans copy by ILLIT was not solely the work of the Belift Lab label; it was an affair involving HYBE. HYBE, as a leading K-pop company, is blindly copying successful cultural content for short-term gain, not showing freshness but producing banality.

NewJeans is currently preparing for a comeback in May. However, ILLIT summoned NewJeans, who are not active, using a copycat strategy. Due to the appearance of imitations, NewJeans’ image has been tarnished, unnecessarily dragging them into controversies, causing concern and fatigue among fans and the public. Although this situation was created by HYBE and Belift Lab, the damage caused is entirely the responsibility of ADOR and NewJeans.

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There are reactions suggesting that since both ILLIT and NewJeans are labels under HYBE, similarities can be understood. There is even a view that ADOR and NewJeans may have allowed or tolerated such similarities. However, such reactions are clearly misunderstandings, and we want to correct them. The multi-label system is designed to allow each label to independently pursue the music they want, not to give absolution to one label for copying the cultural achievements achieved by another label.

ADOR has never permitted or consented to the action of copying NewJeans by HYBE and Belift Lab. We do not want any association between NewJeans and ILLIT in any way, and do not tolerate promotions such as promoting one group as the sibling of another group just because they debuted under the same label.

ADOR has officially raised concerns with HYBE and Belift Lab regarding the recent copycat incident and HYBE’s series of actions towards NewJeans. However, HYBE and Belift Lab have not admitted fault, instead rushing to make excuses and delaying concrete answers. Meanwhile, HYBE has suddenly notified of the suspension and dismissal of Min Hee-jin from her position as CEO, citing concerns that her actions may significantly damage ADOR’s corporate value. At the same time, absurd media plays alleging that Min Hee-jin attempted a takeover are circulating. It’s incomprehensible how legitimate protests to protect NewJeans’ cultural achievements could be detrimental to ADOR’s interests or considered an attempt to seize ADOR’s management rights.

HYBE, Belift Lab and Chairman Bang Si-hyuk seem to believe that simply removing Min Hee-jin from the company will resolve the issue, without offering proper apologies or solutions. However, ADOR is not backing down. ADOR will utilize all possible means to protect NewJeans’ cultural achievements and prevent further infringements, including copycat behavior. ADOR firmly asserts that ADOR cannot overlook the ongoing unfair actions against ADOR and NewJeans.

As ILLIT activities increase, HYBE and Belift Lab may try to dilute the situation at the time of debut by highlighting only the differences with NewJeans. As time passes, however, misunderstandings among fans and the public are likely to increase. Accordingly, ADOR announced an official position after sufficient discussion with NewJeans members and legal representatives.

We hope that this announcement will resolve the misunderstandings among fans and the public surrounding the ‘ILLIT – NewJeans copy incident’. We hope that with this statement, HYBE and Belift Lab will be able to face their mistakes and contribute to our country’s music industry and culture in the future by respecting the cultural achievements of others and creating creations that have gone through intense consideration.

Thank you.”

Source: Naver

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