THE BOYZ, a popular K-pop group, recently found themselves at the centre of a controversy … Not for their music, but for their virtual photocards. These photocards, created using the Zepeto platform, have drawn criticism from Korean netizens for their striking resemblance to BTS’s concept photos from their 2022 anthology album, Proof.
Netizens React to Similarities
The issue gained traction on November 14 (KST) when a post on Instiz, a well-known Korean community forum, went viral. The original poster highlighted the similarities between THE BOYZ’s virtual photocards and BTS’s concept photos. Notably, these virtual photocards featured the avatars of THE BOYZ members, complete with their signatures, rather than their actual faces.
Specific Similarities Pointed Out
Netizens were quick to point out the apparent commonalities between the two sets of photos. The similarities were not subtle: both featured a tiled background, blue-tinged lighting, and a distinctive cross-shaped light projected onto the members’ faces. These parallels were too significant for fans and observers to overlook.
Criticism Directed at Zepeto and Agency, Not Members
While the resemblance was widely acknowledged, the criticism was not aimed at THE BOYZ members themselves. Fans and netizens understood that the group likely had little to no involvement in the design of these virtual photocards. Instead, the backlash was directed primarily at Zepeto, the platform used to create the photocards, and THE BOYZ’s agency. This distinction highlights the fans’ understanding of the separation between artists and the decisions made by their management and associated companies.
A Controversy of Creativity and Originality
This incident has sparked a broader conversation about creativity and originality in the K-pop industry. It raises questions about the extent to which artists and their agencies should ensure that their promotional materials are distinct and not overly reminiscent of other artists’ work. As the K-pop industry continues to grow and evolve, issues like these underscore the importance of originality in an increasingly crowded and competitive market.
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