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HYBE Receives Massive Backlash from Netizens for Being Obsessed with iKON

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HYBE content theft iKON

Have you been keeping up with the ongoing controversy surrounding HYBE? A series of incidents have sparked intense debates about the company’s obsession with K-pop group iKON. This has raised significant concerns regarding HYBE’s approach to creativity, originality, and being artistic. 

The recent controversy began with the revelation of KATSEYE, HYBE’s latest girl group, and their chosen fandom name, EYEKONS. Fans were divided upon hearing this news. Some thought it was clever wordplay with their name, while others criticized it for copying the name of K-pop boyband iKON.

This isn’t the first time HYBE has been accused of copying iKON either; &TEAM, a boy group under HYBE Labels Japan, released a snippet which shares similarities with ‘LTNS’ by DK of iKON.


However, the tune is also similar with a song ‘Miss you’ by M-flo loves Melody & Ryohei Yamamoto which was released 15 years ago.

In 2022, concertgoers posted on their social media site that HYBE sent flower wreaths to each venue for iKON’s “Take off” tour in Japan. This gesture may seem innocuous at first glance, but this was the period of contract renewal issue between iKON and their former agency, YG Entertainment. 

Rumors swirled about HYBE’s interest in iKON; however, the members were not swayed. The group took a different path, signing with 143 Entertainment in January 2023. This rejection may have prompted HYBE to allegedly copy iKON’s concepts and music.


These incidents’ timing raises concerns among netizens about speculation about HYBE’s real intentions. Did the company’s actions come from genuine admiration for iKON’s talent, or were they intimidated by the group’s success in the K-pop industry?

HYBE’s obsession with YG and SM artists

But the drama didn’t stop there. HYBE’s girl group ILLIT announced their fandom name as “LILLY.” The group has faced criticism for copying other artists. Netizens disapproved of it due to its resemblance to BLACKPINK’s Lisa’s fan name and NMIXX’s Lily’s name. The day after, BELIFT LAB announced ILLIT will undergo a change in their fan club official name.

The girl group are under fire again, this time for “copying” K-pop group EXO. After ILLIT’s Ingikayo performance, EXO’s fanbase spotted the group’s “L” hand sign, with the L standing for LOVE and “linking” the two subunits, EXO-K and EXO-M. Fans of EXO criticized the group’s company for “stealing” the hand symbol, regardless of direction.

The controversy surrounding fandom names isn’t new to the K-pop scene. In 2019, fans of TXT clashed with supporters of Tiffany Young over the use of the fandom name “YOUNG ONE.” Big Hit Entertainment, TXT’s agency, asserted that fan input led to the name’s selection, but Tiffany’s fans, claiming she had been using the name since her solo debut, expressed outrage. The dispute underscored the importance of originality and respect in the fiercely loyal world of K-pop fandoms.


Amidst the uproar, TXT fans finally received clarity on their fandom name after four months. The group revealed “MOA,” short for “Moments of Alwaysness,” symbolizing the enduring bond between the group and their supporters.

Netizens have started to doubt HYBE’s dedication towards being authentic because of these accusations for copying and lack of creativity. The fact that all these incidents happened at around the same time and keep repeating themselves raises concerns about their behavior patterns rather than being isolated events.

The situation took a turn for the worse when Min Hee Jin, CEO of ADOR, called out Bang Si Hyuk (HYBE CEO) for an ongoing conflict during her recent media conference. Among other things leveled against him was a screenshot of a KakaoTalk conversation between the two where he mentioned Aespa.

In light of these controversies, will HYBE continue down the path of copying and disrespecting other K-pop groups, risking its reputation and credibility in the process?