BTS ARMY Sends Condolence Wreaths to HYBE for ‘Loss of Competency’

BTS Army condolence wreaths HYBE
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BTS Army condolence wreaths HYBE
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Photo Credit: Ciaran O’Brien

The BTS superfan collective known as the BTS ARMY has sent condolence wreaths to the HYBE headquarters as K-pop drama heats up.

The move comes after a dispute between HYBE and ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin. On May 3, the BTS ARMY issued a full-page statement in some newspapers in South Korea, demanding HYBE and its subsidiary Big Hit Music “take responsibility for the unsubstantiated attacks and defamation targeting BTS.” The statement calls for legal action to be taken against HYBE Chairman Bang Si-hyuk and CEO Park Ji-won.

“We support BTS, not HYBE,” the BTS ARMY declared in a statement, warning the K-pop label that failing to protect its artists is unacceptable. Along with the statement, some ARMY members sent condolence wreaths to the HYBE headquarters—typically given when someone loses something dear to them. Protest messages with the wreaths mourn HYBE’s ‘loss of competency.’

Other members of the BTS ARMY drove around trucks with displays calling for protective measures for BTS. So what riled up the BTS stans? Allegations that suggested HYBE and its bands were involved in a cult called Dahn World. Reports alleged that HYBE-affiliated labels like GFRIEND, LE SERAFIM, and BTS were linked to the Dahn World cult.

“The suspicions being raised are completely unfounded,” HYBE said in a statement issued on April 28. “The reckless rumour-makers are crossing the line and we will take legal action,” the company added. “We are collecting evidence of malicious postings through real-time monitoring as we speak. We will maintain a zero-tolerance policy and pursue this matter rigorously, without leniency or settlements.”

Allegations that the agency integrated the cult’s ideology into their music videos prompted the swift statement from HYBE.

“Agencies failing to protect their artists have no justification for their existence,” the BTS Army concludes in its full-page statement. “We understand that failure to fulfill these obligations could lead to contract termination.”

Currently all members of BTS are serving in the Korean military since December 2023. Jin served first and is scheduled to be discharged on June 12—making him the first member of BTS to be released from mandatory service.