Two dominant forces in the South Korean Kpop industry, MBC and HYBE, finally agreed to end their 4-year issue. MBC now welcomes HYBE idols to perform at their music shows after a previously sparked an issue with HYBE because of BTS. So, what really happened in the MBC vs HYBE issue? Find out more in the following complete report.
MBC President Proposes a Meeting with HYBE to Discuss the Issue of Their Long-Time Dispute
South Korea’s giant entertainment businesses, MBC network and Kpop agency HYBE, have been famous for their long-standing issue that stemmed from BTS. This controversy then escalated into further retaliations occurring back and forth between the two companies.
As a result, MBC cut ties with not only BTS but also many HYBE idols, including TXT, ENHYPEN, LE SSERAFIM, and NewJeans. Moreover, the broadcasting company was reportedly subtly mocking the Kpop group in its drama production, including “Tomorrow” starring Kim Hee Sun and Rowoon.
Today, all the petty retaliations are coming to an end.
According to both companies, MBC president Ahn Hyeong Joon suggested a meeting with HYBE to express their regret due to the issue between the two companies. And so HYBE chairman Bang Si Hyuk visited the MBC headquarters office for an open discussion with the MBC president.
What REALLY Happened Behind MBC and HYBE Issue: It All Started with BTS
So, what happened in the HYBE and MBC issue, and how did it involve BTS?
In 2019, a noteworthy incident happened between MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation), a major South Korean television network, and BIGHIT MUSIC, the entertainment company that manages BTS. The issue occurred around the scheduling of year-end music shows, a common and significant event in the Kpop industry.
BTS, one of the biggest acts under BIGHIT MUSIC, could not participate in the MBC Gayo Daejejeon, MBC’s prominent year-end music festival. That is because, at the time, BTS had already scheduled their appearance at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Times Square, New York. This event was an exceptionally significant milestone for BTS’s global presence.
Reportedly, MBC was displeased or felt slighted by BTS’s absence from their show. After all, having top acts like BTS participate in MBC Gayo Daejejeon is prestigious and effective for a boost in viewership.
Following this, rumors and speculations emerged in the industry and among fans that MBC might have retaliated by excluding BIGHIT’s artists from their music shows and events. Many believe that MBC applied this alienation not only for BTS but also for other BIGHIT artists, including GFriend and TXT.
As a result, BIGHIT MUSIC reportedly responded to the situation by scheduling its own family concert on the same day as the MBC Gayo Daejejeon in 2020. This move meant that artists under BIGHIT MUSIC would not be available to participate in the MBC event, even if MBC had invited them.
“BH Family Concert on the same day as Gayo Daejaejeon? MBC made their bed, they lie on it”— bora (rest) (@bora_twts) November 11, 2020
Critic Park Junghwan on MBC-BH (op-ed):
BH announced in a press release that they’ll be holding a joint concert w/ their artists on 12/31. But it’s a little strange. It overlaps w/ MBC’s + pic.twitter.com/66EhKxu5dN
Since then, the petty retaliations between the two companies have continued. And after BIGHIT transformed into HYBE Corporation in 2021 and invited more artists to join its company, the retaliation affected these artists as well.
MBC Apologizes and Express Regrets for Outdated Practices
Due to this issue, MBC president Ahn Hyeong Joon expressed his regret for MBC’s wrong and outdated practices in the past. After all, these past actions have led to various HYBE artists experiencing harm and consequences for something they didn’t do.
Not only that, but due to its massive growth, HYBE Corporations has given birth to many Kpop artists with global popularity and beyond. The skyrocketing popularity of HYBE’s monster rookies, including LE SSERAFIM and NewJeans, has dominated the global music industry and many social media platforms.
Consequently, persisting with this issue with HYBE could only bring further damage to MBC as they are losing more sources that can boost the viewership of their programs.
A Promise for Further Discussion and Better Practice
Therefore, President Ahn Hyeong Joon proposed advanced production practices between MBC and HYBE. Moreover, the president also promised to lead the movement that allows artists and broadcasters to grow together.
“We strongly believe that artists and broadcasting companies must develop a relationship reflecting high regard for Kpop. Additionally, we agree to work on improving the long-standing issues in how broadcasting and entertainment companies work together.
We aim to create an environment where we can produce content with mutual respect and understanding.”Ahn Hyeong Joon, MBC President.
Responding to the proposal, HYBE chairman Bang Si Hyuk emphasized that prioritizing artists’ rights and interests is crucial for Kpop’s sustainable growth. He further pointed out that both parties must discuss further with visible results very soon. Imminent issues, such as the extended waiting periods for artists to meet the production team post-show, require immediate improvements. That way, they can establish a healthy content production environment.
“I am deeply thankful to MBC for their heartfelt apology and dedication to enhancing the rights of K-pop artists.
Hopefully, this meeting marks the beginning of a new era in which we create a positive environment for content production, extending beyond just our two companies to encompass the entire domestic entertainment industry.”Bang Si Hyuk, HYBE Chairman.
So, what do you think about the ending of the MBC and HYBE issue? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Stay with us on Kpoppost’s Instagram, Threads, Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram channel for more Korean entertainment news and updates. You can also join our Discord Server for more discussions. You might be able to join our upcoming exclusive community events and win exciting prizes!