It is reported that NCT Hollywood will be a part of NCT, and this time Lee Soo Man and SM is searching for American members.
SM Entertainment used to pursue the American dream with SuperM. Currently, this boygroup does not have a good performance in the American market except for the first time reaching No.1 on Billboard 200 thanks to an album that Billboard accused of bundle. At that time, many people criticized SM and claimed that SM should focus on their profitable boy groups like EXO or NCT and should not be targeting the US market regardless. However, this company still did not give up on this plan, and recently stunned with the news of their intention to debut another unit under NCT, namely NCT Hollywood.
SM is ready to look for factors to form NCT Hollywood
Today, US media (including Billboard) reported on the latest business deal between global television conglomerate MGM and SM Entertainment. Accordingly, the two companies will embark on a plan to emphasize the globalization of Kpop, which is to develop and organize a series of programs to select young American boys to form an American male group with a Kpop base.
More specifically, this new boy group is temporarily called NCT Hollywood – the latest sub-unit under SM’s project system NCT. Currently NCT has 23 members with subunits NCT 127, NCT Dream, NCT U and WayV. SM previously stated that they wanted to create a chain of NCT subunits in Southeast Asia, but it seems that this plan will be postponed indefinitely as the company will now focus on NCT Hollywood and the American market.
This talent search competition will open to ‘America’s most talented rising artists’, male between the ages of 13 and 25. Candidates will fly to Seoul to take part in the Kpop training process at SM. In each broadcast episode, they will compete for dance, vocal and their performances will be judged and mentored by SM’s founder Lee Soo Man along with many other members of NCT.
Lee Soo Man shared about this program, ‘I look forward to doing a unique audition program that all music fans around the world can enjoy. I hope viewers will enjoy watching the journey of newly born Hollywood stars who will be promoted as NCT Hollywood in the global market in the future. ‘
Meanwhile, MGM’s CEO, Mark Burnett, also expressed his feelings about the partnership with SM: ‘This series of programs is the cutting edge program that MGM is committed to producing on a global scale. Kpop is not only a music genre but also a cultural phenomenon. We are delighted to be partnering with Lee Soo Man and the team at SM to bring Kpop to America. ‘
The format of forming a boy group is similar to and will compete with Big Hit?
In the past, there were many contests to select Kpop trainees from many different Asian countries, or include European-Asian, American-Asian trainees. However, a program to recruit trainees entirely from the US to form a Kpop group is unprecedented. However, this plan of SM is said to be similar to Big Hit when BTS’s agency is also trying to create an Americanized Kpop group.
In February 2021, Big Hit (now HYBE) also announced a similar plan when they partnered with Universal Music Group to launch a new male group focused on the US market. During HYBE’s presentation, they said this will be a localized American group (meaning that the group will have American members and still be able to promote in Korea). It is unclear whether Big Hit’s group will include all American members like NCT Hollywood or have members from other countries.
SM is criticized for wanting to debut NCT Hollywood?
Actually since debuting SuperM, SM has been criticized severely. Accordingly, Kpop fans and Knetz said that SuperM, although having the most talented members of groups like SHINee, EXO and NCT, could not achieve anything real in America. Not only that, many people now only remember SuperM as the ‘bundle group’ instead of other glorious achievements. Therefore, netizens expected that SuperM’s failure would be a lesson for SM to awaken the company from the American dream and focus on promoting their existing groups.
However, SM has shifted their plan to targeting Americans more by looking only for American members and letting them join NCT Hollywood – a way to ‘legalize’ a Kpop group despite having American members. Immediately, this plan received a great amount of negative response from netizens, and received even worse reactions from NCTzen – NCT’s fandom. Fans strongly oppose SM’s continuing to use NCT as an ‘experiment’ to fulfill the American dream, losing the original identity that NCT members have built, not taking good care of NCT’s current sub units yet trying to expand and use the name ‘Hollywood’…
On Twitter, many hashtags have been pushed to the top trending in many countries. In Korea, after the news was published, a series of hashtags and related keywords entered Twitter’s top trending in this country, including keywords such as: ‘Protect all 23 NCT members’,’ Crazy expansion’,’ the current kids ‘(referring to the current NCT members’), ‘Hollywood’, ‘NCT’s name’ etc …
Meanwhile, NCTzens in many other countries are altogether trending hashtags to oppose NCT Hollywood’s debut. There are a lot of hashtags such as #CANCEL_NCT_HOLLYWOOD, ‘NCT is not a tool to target America’,’ Oppose NCT Hollywood ‘…
What do you think about SM Entertainment’s plan to debut NCT Hollywood? Please share your opinion.