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50,000 sign petition calling for Min Hee-jin's exit from HYBE

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Ador CEO Min Hee-jin sheds tears during a press conference at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul, May 31. Joint Press Corps, Yonhap

Ador CEO Min Hee-jin sheds tears during a press conference at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul, May 31. Joint Press Corps, Yonhap

By Dong Sun-hwa

Over 49,000 people, mostly believed to be fans of K-pop juggernaut BTS, are demanding Ador CEO Min Hee-jin leave HYBE — the parent company of Ador and the septet's agency, BigHit Music.

Titled "MIN HEE JIN Leave HYBE Company," the petition was started by an online user named "ARMY Forever" on the U.S.-based petition platform, May 27. ARMY refers to BTS' global fandom.

As of Sunday afternoon, 49,016 people joined the petition, which was created a few weeks after HYBE filed a report with police against Min — the producer of the sensational girl group NewJeans — for alleged breach of trust on April 25, insisting that she attempted to seize control of Ador from the parent company.

Min denied the accusations, but she traded barbs with HYBE over various issues including plagiarism and embezzlement. Their endless blame game had negative impacts on several HYBE artists, with BTS being mired in rumors of chart manipulation.

Subsequently, "ARMY Forever" started the petition to send a message to HYBE, urging the company to "take appropriate action."

"Min Hee-jin is suspected to be paying media/reporters and working with Maccoll Consulting as reported, to spread misinformation about HYBE and rival HYBE groups with BTS, ILLIT and Le Sserafim pulling the front, to make her group's (NewJeans) contract dissolve with pressuring HYBE through value decrease," reads the message.

"This behavior is not only unprofessional but also harmful, creating unrecoverable damage by creating a hostile environment for those targeted under the same roof ... I urge you to investigate these claims thoroughly and take appropriate action to prevent further harassment and spread of misinformation."

This is not the first time that BTS' followers have taken collective action to protect their stars. In May, fans placed a full-paid announcement in local newspapers, demanding that HYBE Chairman Bang Si-hyuk and CEO Park Ji-won stop hiding behind BTS to protect the company amid the ongoing feud involving HYBE and Ador.

They also asked HYBE to take legal measures against those who make indiscriminate attacks targeting BTS, underscoring that they are the true supporters of BTS, not HYBE.

All BTS members — Jin, RM, Suga, j-hope, V, Jimin and Jungkook — are currently undergoing their compulsory military service. On June 12, Jin, the eldest member of the band, will return to civilian life and participate in a fan event titled 2024 FESTA, scheduled for June 13 at Jamsil Sports Complex in southeastern Seoul.

Dong Sun-hwa


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