MBC reportedly edits a statement claiming that HYBE was built by SEVENTEEN following backlash 

MBC reportedly edits a statement claiming that HYBE was built by SEVENTEEN following backlash  (Image via bts_bighit and pledis_17/Twitter)
MBC reportedly edits a statement claiming that HYBE was built by SEVENTEEN following backlash (Image via X/ @bts_bighit and @pledis_17)

MBC dropped a teaser for the upcoming episode of the South Korean reality show Hangout With You, where MC Yoo Jae-suk visited the HYBE building with the subunit of SEVENTEEN called BSS on April 20, 2024. The teaser was released on MBC Entertainment's official website.

In the teaser, the MBC penned a statement that drew backlash from the ARMYS, which stated, as translated by Koreaboo:

"The HYBE headquarters built by SEVENTEEN."

Following the release of the teaser, ARMYs stated that the statement was an alleged disrespect for the BTS' decades of hard work that made HYBE the multinational entertainment company it is today, and backlash started against Munhwa Broadcasting Company (MBC).

Soon, the MBC reportedly responded to the backlash by editing their statement, which claimed that HYBE's headquarters was built by SEVENTEEN. The updated statement was, as translated by Koreaboo:

"Welcome to HYBE's headquarters. Even the members were in awe of the new building."

ARMYs demand apology from MBC for controversial statement stating SEVENTEEN built HYBE

The teaser for Hangout With You, also known as What Do You Do When You Play, showcased the SEVENTEEN members visiting the HYBE building's cafeteria by the end of the video. The hosts and members were shocked by the extravagant size of the place facing the Han River. In the particular cafeteria scene, subtitles claiming that HYBE was built by the SEVENTEEN were included.

It has also been revealed that MBC has reportedly changed the controversial subtitles/statement on Naver and Nate TV platforms.

Soon, the scene went viral on social media, which sparked controversy among the fandom. The K-pop fandom pointed out that HYBE's predecessor was Big Hit Music, which includes talented singers such as BTS, Lee Hyun, TXT, and others. After Big Hit Music changed its name to Big Hit Entertainment, it acquired a stake in Pledis Entertainment, which had groups including SEVENTEEN and NU'EST, in 2020 and eventually secured the largest shareholder status.

Subsequently, Big Hit Entertainment rebranded itself into an entertainment lifestyle company under HYBE Corporation in March 2021. The HYBE Corporation soon became the most well-known name in the K-pop industry and acquired SEVENTEEN's agency Pledis Entertainment, Source Music, and KOZ Entertainment and established itself as a multi-label regime.

When ARMYs read the caption, they felt betrayed and stated that it was due to BTS that the HYBE Corporation climbed the ladder of success and emerged as the first entertainment company to be labeled as a conglomerate by Korea's Fair Trade Commission. HYBE will be officially announced as a conglomerate on May 1, 2024.

The fandom strongly felt that BTS paved the way for both the rising K-pop groups and the company itself. The fandom commented that it was due to the BTS members that the record label survived the challenging circumstances, and they pulled Big Hit music from the verge of bankruptcy through their meaningful music.

Even though MBC reportedly changed their controversial statement to "Welcome to HYBE's headquarters. Even the members were in awe of the new building," fans were enraged. They trended the following phrase:

Trending phrase (Image via X/ @namjinadoptme)
Trending phrase (Image via X/ @namjinadoptme)

ARMYs called out MBC and demanded a sincere apology from the broadcasting channel and started trending the hashtags such as 'BTS BUILT HYBE,' 'BTS MADE HYBE,' 'BTS PAVED THE WAY,' 'HYBE IS NOTHING WITHOUT BTS,' 'K-MEDIA APOLOGIZE TO BTS,' and 'MBC APOLOGIZE TO BTS.'

Meanwhile, MBC credited BTS for laying the foundation for the HYBE headquarters while acknowledging SEVENTEEN for the development. The entire caption reads, as translated by Koreaboo:

"BTS laid the foundation of the new HYBE headquarters, and SEVENTEEN built up."

However, the sentences were broken down into two separate lines and played in different scenes, which fueled the controversy. ARMYs accused that MBC allegedly disrespected the BTS's decades of hard work and contribution. According to fans, crediting SEVENTEEN for HYBE's success did not make sense, as the group is only under Pledis Entertainment.

ARMYs also wished that BTS never attend any of the shows of MBC in the future, as the broadcasting channel seemed to be holding a grudge against them for allegedly not attending their shows.

Meanwhile, CARATs (SEVENTEEN's fandom) are requesting some fans to direct their anger against MBC instead of hating SEVENTEEN, who had nothing to do with the controversy.

HYBE and MBC recently resolved their long conflict

On October 23, 2023, MBC and HYBE resolved their differences after Ahn Hyeong-joon and Bang Si-hyuk met, which resulted in a positive outcome. In 2019, the conflict between the two began when BTS could not appear at MBC's annual event, the MBC Music Festival, owing to their overseas schedule.

Featuring Bang Si-hyuk (Image via Instagram/ @hitmanb72)
Featuring Bang Si-hyuk (Image via Instagram/ @hitmanb72)

Subsequently, BTS's absence from MBC's show resulted in a four-year-long conflict where the broadcasting channel did not invite several artists of HYBE to perform at any of their shows, including Music! Show Core, championships, Idol Athletic, and others.

As MBC has once again ignited the backlash from ARMYs due to their controversial statement, the fandom is eager to see what kind of stand HYBE and BTS will take in the future.

No official statement from HYBE, MBC, or Pledis Entertainment has been released yet regarding the controversy.

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Edited by Ahana Mukhopadhyay
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