#HYBEDivestFromZionism explained: Why BTS fans want Scooter Braun to be sacked - Hindustan Times

#HYBEDivestFromZionism explained: Why BTS fans want K-pop label's American CEO Scooter Braun to be sacked

Mar 01, 2024 12:25 AM IST

#HYBEDivestFromZionism joins daily social media trends as BTS fans demand Scooter Braun's dismissal while many continue their boycott campaign.

While this story itself isn't a thing of the new, the X (formerly Twitter) trend #HYBEDivestFromZionism may likely have caught your eye lately during daily internet scrolling sessions. Fans of several groups under the HYBE label banner (BTS, SEVENTEEN, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, LE SSERAFIM, NewJeans, ENHYPEN and others) have called a boycott campaign to action, urging the Korean entertainment company to dismiss its American unit's CEO, Scooter Braun. While the campaign rages on and continues to spread awareness like wildfire, BTS fans, aka ARMYs, have especially taken the pioneering stand against Braun's alleged support of Israel as the ravaging conflict continues to tear down Palestine's Gaza Strip.

Scooter Braun and BTS at the White House in 2022.(Instagram / scooterbraun)
Scooter Braun and BTS at the White House in 2022.(Instagram / scooterbraun)

At a rally held in Tel Aviv in December 2023, Braun had urged for the Israeli captives to be returned, who'd been taken hostage during the October 7 attacks when Hamas gunmen stormed into Israel. “I had to come and stand with my people,” said the American producer. In later reports, the Korean label had remarked, “It's a personal statement that is separate from company management” (The Korea Times). However, the music giant that merged with Braun's Ithaca Holdings in 2021 has yet to comment on the ongoing fan protests.

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BTS fans boycott ‘Zionists in the industry’:

Many HYBE group fans have long been silently boycotting the label's merchandise, demonstrating their rejection of the company's association with Braun. However, the latest development around this arena has taken a bigger step to publicising their moral fight against HYBE America CEO's position. Some fans sent a truck to the company's Seoul headquarters on February 23, again pushing for Braun to be removed from operations.

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This campaign hasn't been constrained to the HYBE backyard. Fans have advocated for the removal of ‘Zionists in the industry’ by targeting all ‘big four’ of the K-pop industry - HYBE Entertainment, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment. Alongside #HYBEDivestFromZionism, #하이브시오니스트를제거하다 and #StrikeAgainstThe4 have also partaken in the race for advocacy. Meanwhile, a ‘Help Divest Scooter Braun from HYBE’ Change.org petition has also been initiated.

To name a few, American record producer Benny Blanco, Israeli songwriter Omer Fedi and others also joined the ranks of similarly invoked criticism.

One of the trucks sent earlier displayed a harrowing view of Palestine in ruins, with the message, “They could've been your friend”. Another slide adds to the message campaign message, seeking out the industry's underlying humanity:

"Korean and international ARMY demand HYBE divests from Zionism and Zionists in the industry.

If our demands are not met ARMY will continue to push for you to meet our demands. Do not look away when the same thing that happened to your Korean ancestors is happening to Palestinians!

We ask that you stand for humanity, for the right side of history, and against violence."

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