NewJeans fandom issues official statement on court decision against HYBE

NewJeans fandom issues official statement on court decision against HYBE

In a dramatic turn of events, the fandom of the popular girl group NewJeans has issued an official statement regarding the recent court decision against HYBE, the parent company of their sub-label ADOR. The conflict, which has been simmering for months, reached a boiling point this week as fans took to the streets to voice their discontent.

On Wednesday, a protest truck was deployed outside HYBE’s headquarters in Seoul, displaying messages that criticized Min Hee-jin, the CEO of ADOR. “Min Hee-jin should no longer use NewJeans and its family,” read one of the messages on the electronic billboard mounted on the truck. The protest was organized by Bunnies, the official fandom of NewJeans, who are increasingly frustrated with the ongoing discord between Min and HYBE.

Other messages on the truck included, “Min immediately stop disparaging other artists” and “Bunnies support NewJeans under HYBE.” The protest highlights the growing tension between the fans, the label, and the parent company.

The conflict began when Min accused ILLIT, a new girl group launched by another HYBE sub-label, of copying NewJeans’ creative concepts. This accusation has led to a series of legal and internal battles, with HYBE launching an audit into Min and her aides over alleged attempts to seize management control of ADOR. Min has vehemently denied these allegations.

Min officially responded to HYBE’s audit questionnaire on Wednesday, but HYBE has declined to comment on the details, citing legal constraints. The situation remains tense as both parties await further developments.

NewJeans is scheduled to release a new single titled “How Sweet” on May 24, but the ongoing conflict has cast a shadow over their upcoming activities. Fans are concerned that the discord could affect the group’s performance and future projects.

In the entertainment industry, Min’s accusations have ruffled feathers, particularly those of star composer and producer Bang Si-hyuk. The initial response to Min’s claims was seen as inadequate, and her subsequent statements have only fueled the fire.

On April 22, the day HYBE initiated the audit and demanded Min’s resignation, she released a statement claiming that ILLIT’s accusations against NewJeans led to her attempted dismissal. This statement was met with backlash from both HYBE and the fandoms of ILLIT and NewJeans, who criticized Min for her perceived arrogance.

Min’s statement, which mentioned “sufficient discussions with NewJeans members and legal representatives,” has raised concerns within the music industry. There are fears that if NewJeans members side with Min, it could lead to a legal battle similar to last year’s Fifty Fifty lawsuit, where members filed for termination of their exclusive contracts with their agency.

On April 24, NewJeans fans sent a protest truck to HYBE’s headquarters, displaying messages like “Min Hee-jin, stop exploiting NewJeans and their families” and “Bunnies support HYBE-affiliated NewJeans.” The protest underscores the fans’ desire for a resolution that prioritizes the well-being of the group.

Insiders familiar with HYBE’s internal affairs suggest that the best-case scenario would be for Min to resign gracefully. There is a prevalent opinion within HYBE that Min’s autocratic leadership style is unsustainable. However, if Min does resign, it is speculated that investors will line up to capture her talents, given her successful track record with NewJeans.

HYBE is also strategizing to preserve the intellectual property of NewJeans if Min steps down. Multiple industry insiders predict that the current management team, troubled by Min’s leadership, will put even more effort into ensuring the group’s success without her.

Park Ji-won, CEO of HYBE, sent an email on April 23 urging staff to focus on NewJeans’ upcoming comeback and growth. He emphasized the importance of ensuring that the artists are not affected by the ongoing conflict. NewJeans is set to make a double single comeback on May 24, ahead of their performance at Tokyo Dome in June.

The worst-case scenario would be for NewJeans to side with Min and file for termination lawsuits against HYBE. Such a move would likely lead to a protracted legal battle, with little chance of success given the precedent set by the Fifty Fifty case.

From HYBE’s perspective, if NewJeans raises objections against the company, there would be little incentive to invest further in the group. The future of NewJeans and their relationship with Min Hee-jin remains uncertain, leaving fans and industry insiders alike on edge as they await the next chapter in this unfolding drama.

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