Min Hee Jin claims ‘Copying NewJeans is the cause of conflict with Bang Si Hyuk’


In an exclusive interview with Korea Economic Daily, Min Hee-jin, the CEO of Ador, has accused Hybe’s audit initiation as a pretext to usurp Ador’s management rights, stating, “The allegations that we are trying to take over the management are completely untrue.” She argues that the conflict with Hybe originated from ‘subsidiary plagiarism controversies,‘ specifically accusing another Hybe label’s new girl group ILLIT of copying NewJeans.

On April 22, Min raised allegations of plagiarism against Believe Lab, a label under Hybe, claiming that Hybe ignored the supposed copying of NewJeans by Believe Lab and instead commenced an audit. Believe Lab launched its new girl group ILLIT last month after their participation in a JTBC audition program, with the group’s debut album produced by Hybe’s chairman, Bang Si-hyuk. ILLIT has been in the spotlight since their debut due to their identity and style, choreography, and music videos, which closely resemble that of NewJeans.

Min Hee-jin stated, “Ironically, the cultural achievements of NewJeans are being seriously infringed upon by Hybe, the very entity that should have prevented it.” She highlighted that the mimicry of NewJeans by ILLIT is not just the work of Believe Lab alone but involves Hybe’s participation, accusing Hybe of copying successful cultural content without hesitation for short-term profits. “Ador has never allowed or condoned anyone to copy NewJeans’ achievements,” she added.

The Ador management, including Min, has repeatedly demanded Hybe and Believe Lab to address and rectify the situation, but to no avail. Last week, they formally requested Hybe to acknowledge the plagiarism issues between their labels, which they argue damages the brand value of NewJeans.

Min Hee-jin also revealed that Hybe abruptly notified her of their decision to suspend and dismiss her from her CEO position today, under the pretext that her legitimate protests in defense of NewJeans’ achievements could potentially harm Ador’s interests. “It is incomprehensible how protecting our artist’s achievements could possibly be detrimental to Ador,” she lamented.

The following is Ador’s official statement on the ‘ILLIT NewJeans Copy Controversy’:

Hello,

This is Ador Inc. (hereafter ‘Ador’, CEO Min Hee-jin).

Ador publicly states our position on the ‘ILLIT NewJeans Copy Controversy’ to protect our artist NewJeans and for the healthy development of our country’s music and cultural industry.

Despite operating under a multi-label system where each label independently produces its music, Ador and its artist NewJeans have ironically faced the most severe infringements by Hybe. After the debut of the girl group ILLIT by Believe Lab, one of Hybe’s labels, their teaser photos and overall activities in various entertainment sectors such as hair, makeup, clothing, choreography, and media appearances have led to rampant online comments confusing them with NewJeans.

This shameful situation has been exacerbated by Bang Si-hyuk, who oversaw the production of ILLIT’s debut album. The similarities between ILLIT and NewJeans are not just incidental but are a calculated move by Believe Lab and…



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