'We support BTS, not HYBE': ARMY denounces BigHit Music in newspapers across Korea

Wreaths of flowers displaying boy band BTS's fans' messages of disapproval with BigHit Music, the band's label, and its parent company's management are displayed in front of HYBE's headquarters in Yongsan District, central Seoul, on Friday. [YONHAP]

“Stop using BTS as your shield,” is the stance of ARMY, BTS's loyal fandom, regarding the ongoing feud between HYBE and its subsidiary label ADOR.

BTS’s fans demanded that HYBE take action against “false news and rumors” surrounding the boy band amid the bloodbath in full-page advertisements published Friday in newspapers including the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily.

The writers accused HYBE founder and Chairman Bang Si-hyuk and CEO Park Ji-won of using the band to protect themselves from criticism and demanded that the executives stop using BTS's name in “media manipulation.” They also requested that HYBE subsidiary BigHit Music, BTS’s label, take immediate legal action against the defamatory attacks made against the band and provide notices updating fans on its progress.

A letter condemning HYBE was published as full-page advertisement in the daily newspaper Joongang Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily. The ad was paid for by ARMY, BTS's fans.[JOONGANG ILBO]

“We support BTS, not HYBE,” the letter read.

“There is no reason for an agency if it does not protect its artists. Should the agency not fulfill its most basic duty defending its artists, it could become a credible reason [for the artist] to terminate its contract.”

″HYBE's business management skills - declared dead,″ the message on the flower wreath reads.

ARMY also sent wreaths of flowers, engraved with messages disparaging HYBE's management, to the company's headquarters in Yongsan District, central Seoul on Thursday. Wreaths of flowers are typically sent to funerals as means of condolence in Korea; protesters often use them to broadcast opposition to an organization by heralding its “death.”

The letter — signed by “BTS fans, ARMY” — and flower delivery were organized by X user @blessyouhybe,who told Money Today that more than 500 BTS fans had collected 31.4 million won ($23,050) in order to fund the project.

ARMY sent protest trucks to HYBE's headquarters in Yongsan District, central Seoul. The LED screen displays the message "Disgusting HYBE only works selectively, continuously discriminates [artists] and drives a wedge between fandoms." [NEWS1]

A separate group of ARMY unrelated to the letter’s organizers also sent trucks with LED screens displaying words of protest to HYBE’s headquarters on Thursday.

BTS has been embroiled in speculation following ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin’s public spat with her label’s parent company, which has left the management practices under HYBE's multilabel system under scrutiny from the public and press.

Online users have since accused BigHit Music of rigging music charts and album sales in 2017 while promoting the band. Rumors have also arisen linking the BTS label to meditation company Dahn World, widely speculated to be a cult. BigHit denied both claims in a statement Thursday.

BTS debuted under BigHit Music, then Big Hit Entertainment, in 2013. All BTS members are currently carrying out their military service, with member Jin scheduled to finish in June of this year.