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Since April, major K-pop label Hybe has been feuding with the CEO of one of their subsidiaries, ADOR, and fans can hardly keep up on the drama while it all unfolds. 

In case you missed it, here’s everything you need to know about the Hybe vs ADOR feud. Grab some popcorn and buckle up… this is going to be a long ride.

It all started on April 22nd 2024 when Hybe reportedly asked ADOR CEO Min Hee Jin to step down from her position. At the time, MTN said that Hybe was reportedly “exercising its rights” as shareholders of their brand ADOR by requesting a shareholders meeting. 

There had allegedly been an ongoing power struggle amongst the board of directors, and Hybe CEO Bang Si-Hyuk was not happy. 

As the situation continued with more negotiations and hush hush allegations from both parties, Hybe stock began to rapidly decline. This was the start of things progressing in a much more impactful way; the company was suffering. But this is far from the end. Let’s get into the allegations…

A series of allegations thrown back and forth persisted for weeks. Hybe accused ADOR CEO of leaking and stealing private client information and planning to sabotage the former company. Hybe had gotten a tip off from an unnamed source that ADOR was going to attempt to defame their brand and this is why they took action with the audit. 

There was a ton of leaked information that Min Hee Jin allegedly sent out. Information about the idols under Hybe and its subsidiaries. There was allegedly evidence that she and her board of directors were subtly manipulating public opinion of Hybe so that when they eventually made their claim to part ways with the company, there would be less of an uproar. 

Most of the evidence of these claims are circumstantial, so at this point in the story, both companies were still making their case. 

After Hybe stated their stance on things, the contents of the audit had already been speculated. Korean news outlets closely following the situation report that it covers the accusation of “key information leakage, inappropriate external consulting, artist personal information leakage, and personal irregularities.”

Hybe’s plan with the audit was to check for conspiracies so they can take over the management of ADOR. Hybe already owns 80% of the label and the remaining 20% goes to Hee Jin. The goal was to negotiate their way to 100% ownership, asking Hee Jin to step down.

As allegations continued to rise, netizens reacted to the situation, saying that Min Hee Jin’s “greed” was causing the uproar. They were quick to note that she was losing nothing from the current arrangement, and yet she still wanted to defame Hybe and take their share. It has been causing a stir amongst the K-pop community since, especially those in Korea. But the story keeps unfolding…

The tea got ten times hotter when Min Hee Jin pulled a rather unexpected card; she brought up the alleged plagiarism of NewJeans by new girl group ILLIT. 

ILLIT made their debut in March 2024 under the Hybe sublabel BeLift Lab. As the promotions progressed, fans bickered over whether or not the new group’s concept was too similar to NewJeans. This evolved into some claiming plagiarism was the level of severity. 

Now, Min Hee Jin is using this argument to her advantage. In an official statement, she claimed that ILLIT directly copied NewJeans for their concept and this devalued the NewJeans brand. 

Some netizens are making a case for Hee Jin, stating that she is trying to do right by ADOR’s sole active group, NewJeans. 

Overall, the fact is that these allegations are only continuing to grow in severity; Hee Jin has also made claims against several other K-pop groups claiming they copied NewJeans. 

There have also been more claims from ADOR against Hybe, stating Bang Si-Hyuk “mistreated” NewJeans. Parties on both sides of the dispute are firing back and forth – even NewJeans members’ parents fed into claims of mistreatment in a recent statement saying Bang Si-Hyul ignored the members intentionally. 

Fast forward to today, and where are we now?

This situation just keeps unraveling, and both parties are still gathering evidence to officially make their case in a suit that could potentially cost the loser billions of dollars and taint the reputation of the idols involved forever.

What about you? What do you think about this situation so far? Who’s side are you on?

NewJeans (뉴진스) ‘Bubble Gum’ Official MV

NewJeans (뉴진스) ‘New Jeans’ Official MV

Sources: koreaboo.com, koreaboo.com, koreaboo.com, koreaboo.com, economictimes.indiatimes.com, koreaboo.com, koreaherald.com