NewJeans plagiarism controversy: Fans upend Min Hee Jin's allegations, probe into similarities with Mexican girl group - Hindustan Times
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NewJeans plagiarism controversy: Fans upend Min Hee Jin's allegations, probe into similarities with Mexican girl group

May 21, 2024 01:13 AM IST

Subsequently after Min Hee Jin accused other K-pop groups, especially ILLIT, of plagiarising NewJeans' concept, fans question her “double standards.”

Amid the ongoing turmoil at HYBE, NewJeans members are already charting through dark waters. However, the girl group's troubles have severely inflated with new allegations of plagiarism subjecting the members and their management team to scrutiny more than ever.

NewJeans is a five-member girl group formed by ADOR (presently under HYBE Corporation's multi-label banner). Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein debuted in 2022.
NewJeans is a five-member girl group formed by ADOR (presently under HYBE Corporation's multi-label banner). Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein debuted in 2022.

Recently, NewJeans was put under the lens of investigation as netizens probed into their concepts' uncanny resemblances with that of a Mexican girl group from the '90s.

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Although the woman behind the K-pop group's inception - ADOR CEO, Min Hee Jin - previously accused other groups of allegedly plagiarising NewJeans' style and more, she's now come under fire herself as fans have seemingly taken the HYBE girl group's “copied” inspirations into account as well.

NewJeans plagirism controversy unearthed

The Mexican newspaper El Siglo originally dealt out a report in 2023, connecting all possible similiarities shared between the K-pop band NewJeans and Mexican group Jeans.

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Mapping out a network of similarities between the groups, the Mexican report sought to establish that NewJeans' origin story was heavily inspired by the Mexican pop group Jeans (later rebranded as JNS). While the latter rose to fame in the 1990s, NewJeans has merely been active since 2022, as it has significantly fashioned out a visual and musical concept reminiscent of the “girl next door” style from the 90s and early 2000s.

Comparisons between CD/album art covers.(FMKorea)
Comparisons between CD/album art covers.(FMKorea)

The Mexican newspaper spotlighted that not only was the K-pop group's name a spitting image of the Mexican band, their subsequent promotional previews also bore undeniable similarities.

Netizens across social media have once again dove back into the conversation, citing major possibilities of ADOR “copying” JNS. These speculations have led fans to draw parallels between the groups' choreographies and concepts while hitting back at Min Hee Jin, who'd previously fired hefty accusations against several groups, including HYBE's most recently debuted rookie girl group ILLIT.

Music video comparisons; NewJeans (Ditto side A) vs Jeans (Dime que me amas)
Music video comparisons; NewJeans (Ditto side A) vs Jeans (Dime que me amas)

K-pop NewJeans vs Mexican Jeans tug-of-war goes viral

Although El Siglo posted the original comparative report in January 2023, the convoluted discourse has been reeled back into present conversations, with even Korean websites avidly discussing the case of alleged plagiarism. FMKorea.com posted a similar story on Monday, May 20, sharing a glimpse into both groups' CD arts, comeback concepts, choreography segments and fashion inspirations.

Also read | NCT Dream, Seventeen, Le Sserafim, NewJeans and others win top-ranking spots on Billboard's World Albums chart

Other online Korean discussion forums also witnessed a surge in similar conversations targetting the K-pop girl group and Min Hee Jin, who has thus far firmly boasted the ADOR group's ostentatious “originality” being seemingly preyed upon by fellow K-pop groups of the new age.

Fashion comparisons.
Fashion comparisons.

The super viral story had garnered 832345 views at the time of writing, with an endless chain on X/Twitter users also re-sharing it on the microblogging platform. One of these tweets, as published by user @pastelxsakura, amassed 2.3 million views (at present), with over thirty thousand likes while being retweeted about twelve thousand times, with thousands of netizens also bookmarking the receipts for future.

Fan reactions to the comparisons between NewJeans and Jeans

The endless trail of comments condemning the ADOR CEO and her strategies solidified on X/Twitter. Simultaneously, an army of fans also sought to question the blurring line between plagiarism and inspiration from others. Many also worried about NewJeans members and the group's future while being wary of Min Hee Jin's intentions.

Drawing parallels between NewJeans and Jeans' choreographies.
Drawing parallels between NewJeans and Jeans' choreographies.
  • "Talk about originality 🤨 she takes pride in creating the "most original and district gg of 4th gen" is almost a joke now. Watch her come up with repetitive statements, a few drops of tears and her, I can do whatever plagiarism I want but that grp still copied MY concept 😑"
  • “It's fair, Min HeeJin and Ador's employees have been unprofessional by harassing a teenager for plagiarism but in reality she is the creative director with less originality in the story.”
  • "If it's min Heejin, it's creative, if it's someone else, it's plagiarism" she needs to pick a struggle."
  • “I mean the only reason she accused illit is to start her whole smear campaign to execute her plans.. Ofcourse it was never about the original issue.. nor caring for the girls. It’s all for her benefit but she got caught.”
  • “Min heejin didn't have any creativity and she is questioning other's creativity wow.”
  • "She didn't lie when said "new" jeans. the original jeans already existed maybe."
  • "I didn't even have to go through the article in details, the images speaks a lot. My goodness she hasn't left anything, almost everything seems copied, every thing is "ditto" and that's not inspired that is clear cut copy."
  • “I swear this wouldn't have happened if you and your fans didn't accuse literally everything, mhj. now it's backfiring.”
  • “Ngl, it looks suspish. But where is the line between inspiration and plagiarism?”
  • "So it's coincidence when its nwjns but it's "plagiarism" when it comes to other grps? 🤔"
  • “I won't say NJ plagiarized, I truly understand there was no original art in this🌍 MHJ is an artist ofc she gets inspiration from somewhere. I hope bunnies get wiser if there are other groups that use 90s or y2k concept, it's not about ur fave honey cause NJ itself is recycle😭”

 

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