‘Mother’ of NewJeans, Min Hee Jin's alleged chats disparaging the members leaked amid K-pop legal battle against HYBE - Hindustan Times

‘Mother’ of NewJeans, Min Hee Jin's alleged chats disparaging the members leaked amid K-pop legal battle against HYBE

May 17, 2024 11:10 PM IST

According to a now-viral video exposé, ADOR CEO Min Hee Jin allegedly body-shamed NewJeans members in personal chats with a male deputy leader ‘L.’

ADOR CEO Min Hee Jin and HYBE Corporation are at loggerheads in what is being branded as possibly the most consequential K-pop trial. Both sides preach their own versions of fighting for “creative freedom," while the artists under the latter expansive mega-label bear the brunt of the contentious tug-of-war.

NewJeans was formed by ADOR under Min Hee Jin's direction. The South Korean girl group debuted in 2022.
NewJeans was formed by ADOR under Min Hee Jin's direction. The South Korean girl group debuted in 2022.

Among the many developments spotlighted amid threads of speedy updates pouring in, Min Hee Jin—dubbed the “mother” of NewJeans—is facing heat from netizens as her alleged KakaoTalk text messages targeting the girl group have been exposed.

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Now viral on social media, YouTube Lee Jin Ho revealed these conversations, supposedly typed in by the ADOR CEO, on May 17. South Korean media outlet Sports Chosun also shared the report, which dove into Min's supposed conversations with a male deputy leader ‘L’ in January 2024.

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Thus far, Min has fervently established her identity as the protective motherly figure shielding NewJeans from all kinds of devastating news in the media. However, Lee Jin Ho's viral claims seek to rain on the creative director's parade, who was previously affiliated with SM Entertainment. According to these alleged reports, the ADOR CEO appears to have gaslighted NewJeans members - Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein, despite their faithful commitment to her.

What Min Hee Jin allegedly said about NewJeans?

Despite her caring outlook towards the girl group, as pushed in public, Lee Jin Ho's exposé revealed her virtual conversations, targeting the members. During the girls' preparations for award shows and acceptance speeches, these messages were supposedly shared between Min Hee Jin and the other concerned party, named ‘L’.

According to Sports Chosun and AllKpop (literal translation), the contents of these KakaoTalk chats read: "I just tell them to always be humble. Even though they are fat like pigs, they are gaining popularity. They pretend to be cool by saying cool things, but if they don't actually say hello to me, I think I'll kill them." “What do they know? Just look in the mirror.” and “They didn't get popular because they did well.”

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Other alleged messages also showed Min Hee Jin presumably derisively commenting on NewJeans members' physical appearances. Statements like “Fat elementary schoolers who can't lose a single point and get scolded to death,” and “Wow, XX is so fat and ugly” were highlighted in the video ‘Shock exclusive! NewJeans data released’. Comments dragging NewJeans' fandom also came to the forefront: “When I see these thoughtless kids, they go crazy and say I’m a fan.”

Falling in line with these claims, HYBE's legal representatives also asserted during the civil court case hearing that the ADOR CEO had made similar derogatory comments about the girls.

Exposing ADOR and HYBE

NewJeans' company ADOR presently functions under the parent company HYBE Corporation, which has drawn up a multi-label system hierarchy and harbours several other labels, including BTS and TXT's BigHit Music, Le Sserafim's Source Music, ENHYPEN and ILLIT's Be:Lift Lab, Seventeen's PLEDIS Entertainment, and others.

YouTuber Lee Jin Ho raised attention to alleged instances of harassment of women working at ADOR, which have seemingly translated into an internal rift at HYBE.

An internal investigation at HYBE in March concluded with a warning to the involved parties, suggesting that the issue arose from a presumable communication gap.



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