HYBE and MBC reconcile after 4 years

In a significant development for the K-pop industry, prominent music corporation HYBE, and top-tier South Korean broadcaster MBC, have officially reconciled their strained relationship. This reconciliation promises a renewed era of collaboration between the two giants.

The Origin of the Dispute

The rift between HYBE, which oversees BTS’s agency, BIGHIT MUSIC, and MBC dates back to 2019. BTS, due to scheduling commitments in New York City’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve, couldn’t participate in MBC’s year-end festival.

BIGHIT MUSIC’s proposal for a pre-recorded appearance for BTS was declined by MBC. This disagreement led to a broader boycott, with all artists under BIGHIT MUSIC, and subsequently HYBE, abstaining from MBC programs for four years. Consequently, popular groups like SEVENTEEN, LE SSERAFIM, and NEWJEANS were notably absent from MBC’s music broadcasts.

The Reconciliation

HYBE and MBC Reconcile after 4 years
(L-R) President Ahn shaking hands with Chairman Bang. The reconciliation between HYBE and MBC is good news for k-pop fans

The turning point arrived on October 30, when MBC’s President, Ahn Hyung-Jun, and HYBE’s Chairman, Bang Si-Hyuk, convened at the MBC office. Initiated by MBC, this meeting aimed to address and resolve the longstanding issue. By its conclusion, both parties were in agreement to resume their collaborative content exchange after the prolonged hiatus.

A Forward-Looking Perspective

In a subsequent media release, President Ahn acknowledged the potential harm MBC’s “traditional production practices” might have inflicted on artists. He conveyed his aspiration to Chairman Bang Si-Hyuk to reform the deep-rooted production dynamics between South Korean broadcasters and labels.

Emphasizing “mutual respect and consideration,” President Ahn envisions MBC pioneering a fair partnership model that upholds artists’ rights. Chairman Bang responded positively, expressing hope that this renewed alliance would usher in expansive opportunities for K-pop artists.

This reconciliation between HYBE and MBC signifies a promising future for K-pop collaborations. With both entities prioritizing artists’ interests and rights, the industry is poised for a harmonious and progressive era.


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