“ILLIT is copying NewJeans in all areas”: ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin issues statement reasoning alleged plagiarism for HYBE fallout

ILLIT and ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin (Images Via Instagram/@illit_official, @min.hee.jin)
ILLIT and ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin (Images Via Instagram/@illit_official, @min.hee.jin)

ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin has reportedly accused Belift Lab and producer Bang Si-Hyuk of allegedly copying NewJeans' concept to promote the new girl group ILLIT. On April 22, HYBE raised an audit against the management of ADOR after finding attempts by the agency to go independent. ADOR is a subsidiary of HYBE LABELS, with HYBE owning an 80 percent stake in the company. The remaining 20 percent is held by Min Hee-jin, the director and CEO, along with the management team of ADOR.

On April 22, Min Hee-jin gave a statement to Korea Economic Daily, a South Korean media agency, in which she refuted the audit launch and reportedly claimed that she was not trying to take over ADOR's management rights. She also claimed that the conflict arose due to disputes over plagiarism between subsidiaries.

"HYBE operates a multi-label system in which multiple labels independently create their own music and pursue cultural diversity through this. ADOR is one of those labels. Yet, ironically, the cultural achievements achieved by ADORE and its artist NewJeans are being gravely violated by HYBE," she said.

She further added:

"ILLIT is copying New Jeans in all areas of entertainment activities, including hair, makeup, costumes, choreography, photography, videos, and event appearances. The ILLIT is evaluated as 'Min Hee-jin style', 'Min Hee-jin style', and 'imitation new jeans'. This is truly shameful."

Min Hee-jin reportedly accuses Bang PD and Belift Lab of allegedly copying NewJeans for ILLIT's promotions.

On April 22, ADOR and Min Hee-jin stated in response to the audit launched by HYBE. They alleged that Bang Si-hyuk Belift Lab and HYBE were the "culprits" for copying cultural content created by NewJeans and ADOR for ILLIT, which saw great success in the entertainment industry.

ADOR reportedly shared the statement to protect their artist NewJeans and promote the healthy growth and development of South Korea's music industry and culture.

The statement about the audit launched against Min Hee-jin said:

"How can a legitimate protest to protect the cultural achievements of its artist, NewJeans, harm ADOR's interests, or how can it become an act of usurpation of ADOR’s management rights?"

More about the NewJeans-ILLIT “copying” controversy

Min Hee-jin claimed that they have given consent to HYBE or Belift Lab to copy NewJeans for anyone.

She said:

"ADOR does not want NewJeans and ILLIT to be associated in any way. Just because we debut under the HYBE label, we have no intention of tolerating any promotion that claims we are someone's youngest group."

ADOR has raised an issue with HYBE and Belift Lab regarding a series of actions taken by the conglomerate involving NewJeans and the copying issue. However, they claimed that neither of the agencies has admitted to their mistakes.

They accused the agency of using foul media play with absurd content, saying that Min Hee-jin tried to confiscate management rights.

As per Korean media agencies, HYBE has previously launched an audit check against ADOR management, as they have reportedly found evidence of Min Hee-jin and the agency attempting to take power over ADOR's management rights.

To briefly address this, HYBE said, “It is true that an audit was initiated."

ILLIT is a five-member girl group that debuted under Belift Lab through the survival reality show R U Next? which determined the final lineup. ILLIT has garnered attention from fans and listeners for their debut song, Magnetic.

Meanwhile, Min Hee-jin, a renowned creative director in the Korean industry, previously worked at SM Entertainment. She is known for the concept ideation of popular K-pop groups like Girls Generation, SHINee, and EXO before launching NewJeans in 2022 with HYBE’s subsidiary label ADOR.

Edited by Arshjot Kaur Nagpal
App download animated image Get the free App now