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HYBE has issued an apology regarding the controversy of sexual harassment during a fan sign event

Earlier, the HYBE-affiliated boy group &TEAM held a face-to-face fan sign event on the 8th. According to fans who attended the event, HYBE staff members conducted body searches on fans’ chests and bodies before proceeding with the fan sign event. Fans became suspicious that the staff members suspected fans of secretly recording conversations with the members, as some fans had hidden smartwatches or other recording devices inside their underwear.

Upon the revelation of these facts, online criticism arose, accusing HYBE of violating fans’ rights under the guise of security measures.

HYBE later released a belated and partially apologetic statement regarding the significant issue. Their apology was accompanied by a self-justification, citing security body checks as a means to prevent incidents such as leaked conversations. However, regardless of the situation, the security of HYBE’s artists should never take precedence over the rights of fans. Even the expressions in the apology that blamed the fans, infuriated many.

Many K-pop fans expressed skepticism about HYBE’s assumption that leaked conversations could cause discomfort for both fans and artists. They also urged the agency to focus on educating their artists to prevent situations where conversation content is leaked to the outside, rather than conducting body searches that border on sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, &TEAM is an eight-member idol group consisting of members Ui-Ju, Huma, K, Nicholas, Yuma, Jo, Hara, Taki, and Makiro. They initially started their activities in Japan and later expanded to Korea, appearing on various music programs from SBS M’s “The Show” on June 27th to SBS’s “Inkigayo” on July 9th, where they showcased performances of their title track “Firework” from their second mini-album “First Howling: WE.”

Below is the official statement from Weverse Shop:

Hello, this is Weverse Shop.

We apologize to the fans who attended the face-to-face fan sign event on July 8th regarding the security body checks conducted by female security personnel.

Fan sign events are occasions for one-on-one conversations between artists and fans, and to prevent the leakage of recorded content to the outside, we have strictly limited the entry of electronic devices capable of recording and filming. Many fans have actively cooperated with this measure.

However, on the 8th, there were cases of fans concealing electronic devices on their bodies, which led to security body checks conducted by female security personnel. We sincerely apologize to the fans who attended the event with joy for any discomfort caused.

We will prepare improvements, such as introducing non-contact methods for security searches, and strive to create a more comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for fan sign events with artists.

Thank you.

Author Nat.O
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