Weverse released an article titled Morgan Wallen is the Most Wanted Man in Music on May 24, 2023. The article addressed the artist's increase in fame, success, and popularity. While this stands as no offense to the audience, fans were quite displeased to witness the choice of words used by the journalist who wrote the article.
The article continued praising Morgan Wallen's pathway to success. However, it also brought up several K-pop artists and their achievements and put them down as compared to the country musician's success. It also seemed to have sugarcoated the controversies Morgan Wallen faced before his rise to fame.
When fans read the article, they were furious about the disrespect it directed toward K-pop artists and their work. One fan even said that the article was "downright harmful to people."
Fans furious at Weverse for degrading the success of several K-pop artists in their recent article
The aim of the Weverse article about Morgan Wallen was to inform the audience of the country music artist's recent success with their album, One Thing at a Time. However, fans found the comparison the article made with K-pop artists unnecessary and disrespectful to the latter.
Here's what the article read (in part):
"TWICE, Agust D, SEVENTEEN, and LE SSERAFIM have all jockeyed for the first place but no one has been able to topple One Thing at a Time from its pedestal. At any other time, those K-pop albums would have ridden right to the top on the back of their sales, But Wallen's have been even higher."
The article continued singers like Miley Cyrus, SZA, and Jimin had some partial success in "breaking up his (Morgan's) domination on the Hot 100. It added:
"Yet, not even they could derail the unstoppable success of the album's main single, Last Night."
Following the release of the Weverse article, fans were upset to witness a degrading and undermining comparison between Asian and Western artists. They said that this outrightly expressed the racist motives behind the phrasing of the article's sentences. While the comparison itself was disrespectful, fans also pointed out that it also neglected the immense success BTS' SUGA and Jimin have brought to HYBE Labels.
Those who were following the K-pop industry during the kickstart of Weverse will know that the online platform is a subsidiary and is created by HYBE Labels. Given that BTS' SUGA and Jimin are housed under the label and have been the largest contributors to the company, fans felt that their impact and influence on the company's growth hasn't been acknowledged.
BTS alone takes up more than half of the profits gained by HYBE in comparison to all the other artists housed under them.
Jimin's solo debut, Like Crazy, made history with its debut at #1 on Billboard's HOT 100. Meanwhile, SUGA's solo tour has also been garnering an impressive level of growth and success for the company. As both of their achievement were degraded and termed as "partial success" in the Weverse article, it failed to sit well with the fans.
When the Weverse article looked down on the achievement of its own artists, fans weren't happy about it. Another earlier article released by the same journalist discussed Jimin's achievement with the Billboard Hot 100. However, instead of addressing the same fairly, the article commented saying that they have to "wait and see the drop rate next week" to add legitimacy to his success.
Additionally, what infuriated the fans further was the sugarcoating and justifying Morgan Wallen for his past problematic actions. The artist not only has instances of uttering racial slurs but has also disregarded COVID protocols, and has faced several controversies. Fans said that his rebound to fame, therefore, was not an individualistic achievement but done with the help of American right-wing circles given his position as an American artist.
Instead of addressing these incidents in their actuality and holding him accountable for his past actions, it phrases this time as his "rocky period." The article also deems him a victim of cancel culture. Fans were enraged that the standards for Asian artists were so different than those for Western artists.
Fans were quite upset about the still-existing discrimination against Asian artists in the music industry. They were disheartened by the minimization of their achievement by the artists' own label.