BTS’ agency HYBE is once again in the line of fire. This time, they are being criticized for using K-pop superstar j-hope’s upcoming solo album, Jack in the Box, to promote their environmentalism.
They were trending online after they announced their decision not to issue physical copies of Jack in the Box. The agency promoted the move as an endeavor to turn green and make the album production process more environmentally sustainable. However, netizens criticized the decision and termed it a hypocritical publicity stunt at the cost of j-hope’s success.
The upcoming album will be a package comprising a QR code and photocards. There will be four items in a single physical album, a card holder, two photocards, and a QR Code which will direct purchasers to a user guide. ARMY is infuriated by this decision for several reasons, but primarily because the strategy compromises the success potential of their idol’s album.
Some netizens questioned the agency on why they decided to implement this bold strategy on j-hope’s album which already has only two versions. They argued that the agency has several other groups who recently made their comebacks which led to the company creating thousands upon thousands of photocards. According to BTS fans, those albums would have been more suitable for this environmental measure as the impact would have been more significant.
Why is HYBE being criticized and labeled 'hypocritical' for their decision?
HYBE Entertainment recently announced their decision to not issue physical albums for the upcoming solo album of BTS’ j-hope. This decision has been touted as an environmental strategy in line with the agency’s endeavor to become green.
In recent times, several companies have been undertaking environment-friendly measures to contribute to the green movement. Previously, VICTON created news by releasing digital versions of all their albums. Furthermore, SF9 vowed to make all their upcoming albums with biodegradable material.
However, when HYBE announced that BTS' sunshine j-hope's first solo album will be entirely digitized with no physical copies, fans were infuriated. This outrage was partially due to the hypocrisy of the agency, which has recently upgraded its business model for a greater focus on NFTs.
Non-fungible tokens, acronymed NFT, are individual works of cryptographic art that can be bought and sold independently of one another. These tokens are detrimental to the environment as they contribute to the carbon dioxide emissions caused by cryptocurrency-trading.
HYBE recently upgraded its business model to focus on two new projects, one of which is a large-scale joint endeavor with Dunamu to establish an NFT exchange platform. Netizens from around the world criticized this move.
In light of the above development, the company’s decision to not produce physical copies of Jack in the Box appears hypocritical to fans. They believe that the ulterior motive behind the decision is to give the company’s image a makeover so as to shift focus off their upcoming plans that will be highly detrimental to the environment.
With the love for physical album still being very much alive among K-pop fans, the decision has upset many.