“Like HYBE is invisible”: NewJeans’ agency CEO Min Hee-jin’s remarks take a controversial turn

ADOR's CEO Min Hee-jin's comments on NewJeans' management takes a different route (Images via Instagram/min.hee.jin and newjeans_official)

ADOR’s CEO, Min Hee-jin, has landed in trouble again for allegedly downplaying HYBE’s role in NewJeans’ success.

In an interview with Cine21 released on January 21, Min Hee-jin spoke about her role as CEO and Executive Producer of ADOR, which gave her complete autonomy from HYBE. She shared how she does not agree with people labeling her agency with HYBE’s name.

The ADOR CEO added that she had investments coming in from various companies, and the current parent company was one of them, but her priority was “independence of creation” and “non-interference” in her work. Moreover, she mentioned that she had “no strong reason” to pick HYBE.

Many believed that the comment implied that Min Hee-jin made NewJeans the monster rookies they are today, not HYBE, and vehemently voiced their thoughts against it. They debated that even though ADOR had autonomy, the power attached to HYBE’s name, along with BTS’, was a major catalyst in the rookie girl group’s explosive debut.

Min Hee-jin’s supposed comments on NewJeans’ success by belittling HYBE comes under the radar of netizens

Min Hee-jin, ADOR’s CEO, recently sat down for an interview with Cine21 and opened up about many things, including budget planning and the role of HYBE when it comes to NewJeans. ADOR, short for All Doors, One Room, was established in 2021 as an independent label under the multi-label entertainment company HYBE.

With NewJeans’ success reaching new heights every day, Min Hee-jin shared that she personally was opposed to people labeling them as “HYBE’s capital,” as per the English translation of the Cine21 interview. She mentioned that the parent company cannot dictate how ADOR will spend its money and cannot singlehandedly confirm content-production.

A part of Min Hee-jin's interview answer translated in English from Korean (Image via pannchoa)
A part of Min Hee-jin's interview answer translated in English from Korean (Image via pannchoa)

Netizens, especially fans of artists signed to HYBE, have criticized the CEO for allegedly disregarding HYBE’s role in the explosive success of NewJeans. Many commented on the privilege that the giant company offered, such as its over 70 million subscribers on YouTube, the star power attached to the company’s name, and even more so, the power of BTS’ name.

ADOR has not yet released any official statement regarding the controversy.

Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein debuted as NewJeans in July last year in an extraordinary way by directly releasing a music video. Unlike the usual K-pop route of first teasing the members’ skills or visuals, ADOR directly revealed them to the industry through its visually evocative music video.

The group became monster rookies in no time. With the release of three title tracks along with music videos for each, they landed record-breaking ‘Perfect All-Kill (All-Kills refers to reaching No. 1 on several major music streaming charts in South Korea at the same time), more chart-topping hits with comeback OMG, and have recently become luxury brand ambassadors—all in the span of just six months.

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Edited by Somava