Min Hee Jin Calls Out ILLIT for “Imitating” NewJeans Amidst HYBE Dispute

illit newjeans
illit newjeans
Credit: ADOR

Amid escalating tensions between HYBE and its label ADOR, headed by CEO Min Hee Jin, public criticism has intensified following Min Hee Jin’s controversial remarks. HYBE recently initiated an audit alleging that Min Hee Jin and ADOR’s executives attempted a management coup and pursued independence from the parent company.

HYBE disclosed on April 22nd that it had sent audit inquiries to Min Hee Jin and the ADOR executives, with responses due by the following day (which is today, the 23rd). They also demanded Min’s resignation and called for a shareholders’ meeting against ADOR’s board.

Min argues that the dispute stemmed from internal plagiarism allegations. She claimed that ILLIT, a new girl group launched by HYBE’s other label BELIFT LAB, had imitated ADOR’s NewJeans, which sparked the controversy. NewJeans, conceptualized by Min Hee Jin, and ILLIT, directly produced by Bang Si Hyuk, both operate under HYBE’s multi-label structure.

illit newjeans
Credit: ADOR, BELIFT LAB

From the outset, ILLIT has been compared to NewJeans, sparking debate for their similar concept photos, musical style, and performances. However, Min’s remark in the statement she released about the dispute, where she shows zero respect for another artist, became a hot potato among K-pop fans. She expressed displeasure over the comparisons, stating, “ADOR and its artist NewJeans have achieved significant cultural milestones, which, ironically, are now being seriously compromised by HYBE.”

She further criticized the characterization of ILLIT, asserting, “ILLIT has been copying NewJeans in every aspect of their activities, including hair, makeup, outfits, choreography, photography, video production, and event appearances.” Min Hee Jin labeled ILLIT as “NewJeans’ imitation,” claiming this has “eroded NewJeans’ image and burdened fans and the public with unnecessary controversy.”

Yet, many expressed disappointment with Min Hee Jin’s derogatory use of the term “imitation,” criticizing her for diminishing another group. As the accusations of a management takeover unfold, some see Min Hee Jin’s focus on the plagiarism issue as an attempt to deflect from the core allegations. The online community has voiced that instead of targeting another group, Min Hee Jin should clarify the accusations against her, highlighting a need for transparency and accountability in her responses with comments like “How does an accusation of a management takeover shift to accusations of another group being an imitation?” and “This is not the time to point fingers at other groups, but rather a time for her to provide clear explanations for her own actions.”

>> ADOR Claims Min Hee Jin’s Dispute With HYBE Stem From ILLIT Copying NewJeans

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