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ADOR slams HYBE for allegedly copying NewJeans for new girl group ILLIT

By Melanie Uson Published Apr 23, 2024 3:54 pm

K-pop agency ADOR’s CEO has slammed HYBE for allegedly allowing the “copying” of NewJeans for its new girl group ILLIT.

The head of the label, Min Hee Jin, released a lengthy on April 23 slamming HYBE for allowing Belift Lab, the agency that handles the newly debuted group, to copy the Super Shy singers. 

ICYDK, HYBE is a parent company that handles various labels, including ADOR and Belift Lab, allowing them to “independently create their music and pursue cultural diversity” in the K-pop scene. 

Hee Jin noted that when ILLIT debuted in March, more social media users noticed the resemblance of their concept to NewJeans. 

“ILLIT is copying NewJeans in all aspects of entertainment activities including hair, makeup, clothing, choreography, photos, videos, and event appearances,” Hee Jin said as reported by Korean outlet Soompi.

She also noted how the former is being seen as “Min Hee Jin style,” “Min Hee Jin type,” and “an imitation of NewJeans,” which she said is a “shameful situation.” 

The ADOR CEO also criticized HYBE chairman, Bang Si Hyuk for producing ILLIT’s debut album, saying how the parent company is “blinded by short-term profits and is mass-producing unoriginality by copying successful cultural content without hesitation.” 

Hee Jin also lamented how the situation had caused NewJeans to receive unnecessary attention especially when they are gearing up for their comeback album to be released in May.  

She also stressed that ADOR did not consent to the similarity nor to copying NewJeans’ achievements. 

“ADOR does not want NewJeans and ILLIT to be associated in any way. We have no intention of tolerating promotions such as groups being sibling groups just because they debuted under HYBE labels,” she underscored. 

Hee Jin has filed a complaint regarding the copying issue, but said that HYBE and Belift Lab "refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing, merely coming up with a string of excuses and delaying concrete responses." 

She also denied accusations that she’s trying to take over ADOR to become independent from the parent company, following HYBE’s confirmation that they initiated an audit of ADOR after detecting attempts by the agency to become independent. 

"Through this statement, we hope that HYBE and BELIFT LAB will face their wrongdoings and contribute to the Korean music industry and culture through fervent contemplation and creation while respecting the cultural achievements of others," it concluded.

NewJeans is a five-member group composed of Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, Minji, and Hyein. They are known for their 1990 and Y2K aesthetics, as well as for their hit tracks including OMG, Ditto, Hype Boy, and Super Shy. 

Two years after their debut in July 2022, the group bagged the Group of the Year Award at the 2024 Billboard Women in Music. 

Meanwhile, ILLIT, composed of Yunah, Moka, Minju, Iroha, and Wonhee, recently debuted in March this year with an EP dubbed Super Real Me that included their hit track Magnetic.