ADOR Hits Back At HYBE

Min Hee-Jin, CEO of ADOR, has issued a detailed statement in response to her ongoing feud with parent company HYBE. In it, she refutes accusations of mismanagement and raises concerns about plagiarism issues affecting NEWJEANS.

Power Struggle Between HYBE and ADOR’s Min Hee-Jin

Recent reports have highlighted a growing power struggle between HYBE and ADOR, with CEO Min Hee-Jin at the centre of the controversy. Allegations have surfaced about Min Hee-Jin attempting to usurp management rights at ADOR, leading HYBE to initiate an audit against her and the current management board.

Addressing Allegations and Mismanagement Claims

In a detailed interview with Ilgan Sports on April 23, Min Hee-Jin firmly denied any intentions to take HYBE’s equity in ADOR or seek foreign investments to break away from HYBE. She clarified that her actions were in response to internal issues that arose after allegations of ILLIT’s plagiarism of NEWJEANS, which she brought to light within the company.

I have never met with any investors to seize HYBE’s management rights (in ADOR). I have never tried to steal executive rights like HYBE claims. How can I do that with my 18% equity (in ADOR)? Because HYBE has 80% equity, it is impossible for me to seize the management rights. It is also impossible for ADOR to leave HYBE without their consent. It is hard to understand why HYBE is claiming the impossible. — Min Hee-Jin

The ADOR CEO emphasized that HYBE is pushing for her resignation solely because she had raised issues internally with the company.

It is because I brought up internal issues a month ago. Once I brought up several issues that came to light after ILLIT copied NEWJEANS, I suddenly received notice that HYBE was trying to terminate me. — Min Hee-Jin

During the interview, she expressed regret over the timing of HYBE’s feud with her and their manipulation of media. She persistently dismissed all of HYBE’s claims and scrutinized the label’s motives behind them.

I am surprised by HYBE for doing this during a very important time for NEWJEANS. All of this happened within 4 days of making a complaint. I also wonder has there ever been a case that a company publishes articles during an audit before it has even yielded results? What was the reason that they needed to make these false articles that nothing to do with what I was actually complaining about? — Min Hee-Jin

Citing Plagiarism Issues in Official Response


Min Hee-Jin expressed her concerns over the timing of HYBE’s actions, which coincided with a critical period for NEWJEANS. She questioned the integrity of HYBE’s actions, especially the rapid move to terminate her within days of her raising complaints.

An official statement released by ADOR and Min Hee-Jin delved deeper into the plagiarism accusations against ILLIT. The statement emphasized the need for accountability and transparency within the extended HYBE family.

ADOR’s No Holds Barred Statement:

This is ADOR Co, Ltd (hereinafter referred to as ADOR, and CEO Min Hee-Jin).

In order to protect our agency artist NEWJEANS, as well as for the healthy development of our country’s music and culture industry, we will be making our official statement regarding the issue of ‘ILLIT copying NEWJEANS.’

HYBE is running a multi-label system, in order to let each label produce their own music independently, valuing cultural diversity. ADOR is one such label. But ironically, the cultural output that has been achieved by ADOR, and our company artist NEWJEANS, has been most severely violated by HYBE.

One of the labels under HYBE, BeLift Lab, debuted ILLIT in March 2024, a 5-member girl group. After ILLIT’s teaser photos were released, there was an explosive reaction online, with people who thought ‘it was NEWJEANS.’ ILLIT’s hair, makeup, outfits, choreography, photos, videos, and even events, etc, all of their activity as celebrities have been copying NEWJEANS. There have been reviews that ILLIT is ‘Min Hee-Jin’s style,’ ‘Min Hee-Jin’s type,’ and ‘NEWJEANS’ style,’ etc. This can’t be something that they’re not embarrassed about.

HYBE’s Bang Si Hyuk took part in the production of ILLIT’s debut album. ILLIT’s copying of NEWJEANS was not carried out by BeLift Lab alone as a label, but is something that concerns HYBE as well. As a leading company in K-Pop, HYBE has been blinded by profits, and are copying successful cultural content without any hesitation. Rather than showing something new, they are simply producing banality.

NEWJEANS is currently preparing for a comeback in May. But ILLIT has evoked NEWJEANS during the time that they are not promoting. Thanks to the appearance of a similar type of group, NEWJEANS’ image has been consumed, and they have been dragged into needless debates, being used as topics amongst fans and the public, worrying and tiring them out. The people who made this happen, HYBE and BeLift Lab, are profiting off of it, but the ones who are suffering damages are ADOR and NEWJEANS.

There have been opinions that since we are both labels under HYBE, similarities between NEWJEANS and ILLIT are reasonable. What’s more, there were also reactions where they felt that ADOR and NEWJEANS agreed to the copying. I am setting things straight as these reactions are outright misunderstandings. Under a multi-label structure, each label can produce the music that they want independently, and just because you are under the same umbrella, it does not give you the right to copy another label’s cultural output.

And ADOR has never allowed anyone, be it HYBE, BeLift Lab, or anyone else, to copy NEWJEANS’ output. ADOR does not want ILLIT and NEWJEANS to be linked in any way at all. We have no intention of allowing anyone to promote themselves using the title of ‘who and who’s dongsaeng group,’ just because they debuted under the HYBE umbrella.

ADOR has expressed its objections to HYBE regarding BeLift Lab’s copying of NEWJEANS, as well as successive issues regarding HYBE’s treatment of NEWJEANS. But HYBE did not acknowledge BeLift Lab’s mistake, was busy making excuses, and bought time while putting off giving us an answer.

Then today, on April 22, 2024, HYBE revealed that they are planning on taking steps to fire CEO Min Hee-Jin, sparking concerns that HYBE is planning on destroying ADOR’s value. At the same time, HYBE is attempting to use the media to tarnish Min Hee-Jin’s name with ridiculous allegations of trying to steal from HYBE. How can protecting NEWJEANS’ cultural achievements equate to hurting ADOR’s bottom line and mean that Min Hee-Jin is trying to steal ADOR’s executive rights? It seems that there is another motive that is hard to understand.

HYBE and BeLift Lab have not apologized for this incident. Instead, it seems they believe that this will all go away if Min Hee-Jin is kicked out of ADOR. ADOR will exhaust all legal options to protect NEWJEANS’ cultural achievements and to protect the group from further plagiarism.

There is a chance that HYBE and BeLift Lab will gather the differences between ILLIT and NEWJEANS and magnify them before their debut to bury this incident. As time passes, there is a chance that fans and the public’s misunderstanding will grow larger. Because of this, ADOR has released this statement after discussing it with our lawyers and NEWJEANS. We hope that through this, HYBE and BeLift Lab will acknowledge their mistakes, respect the cultural achievements of others, and (rather than plagiarize) add to our nation’s entertainment industry through hard work and creativity.

Thank you. — ADOR

Min Hee-Jin and ADOR’s public rejection of the allegations and her questioning of HYBE’s motives reflect a significant rift within the company. Stay tuned for updates as this colossal event unfolds.

READ | HYBE Faces Off Against ADOR’s CEO Min Hee-Jin

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