BTS Sajaegi Allegations: Under Investigation | What it means

BTS: Under Investigation | What is Sajaegi?

The K-pop superstar group BTS is currently involved in a developing scandal because it has been claimed that its agency, HYBE, was accused of attempting sajaegi in 2017. After receiving numerous petitions, the Ministry of Culture in South Korea has launched a comprehensive investigation into the charges.

What is Sajaegi?

Sajaegi is a practice in the K-pop industry where actions are taken to rig charts and fake album sales to boost a group’s demand among fans. It is an unethical and illegal marketing strategy that manipulates digital and physical charts.

While chart manipulation is common in the global music scene, South Korea keeps these practices under wraps. In K-pop, sajaegi involves agencies buying their own group’s albums to inflate sales figures, often through pre-order events and fan signings.

When did this happen?

Reports suggest that in 2017, HYBE, then known as BIGHIT Entertainment, engaged in chart manipulation practices for BTS. The agency was allegedly blackmailed by four individuals, including Mr. Lee, for using unethical marketing strategies (sajaegi) for a 2015 album of BTS.

Lee was sentenced to a year in prison and the three others were let off with a fine, but the term “sajaegi marketing” was specifically mentioned in the ruling, with the court saying that Lee had made a “sajaegi marketing deal” with Big Hit Entertainment and threatened the company based on that account. – koreajoongangdaily.joins.com

Possible Consequences

Petitions have been submitted requesting the revocation of BTS’ Order of Cultural Merit if the allegations are proven true. HYBE has vowed to take legal action against any defamation of BTS and monitor online platforms to protect the group’s reputation.

BTS Army Reaction

The group’s fanbase, known as the Army, has taken to social media to defend BTS. Using the hashtag ‘South Korea apologize to BTS,’ fans push back against claims of chart manipulation, asserting that the group’s success is a result of hard work and quality music.

BTS: Under Investigation | What is Sajaegi? x reacts
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Army demands that BTS be separated from the controversy. Fans took out a full-page advertisement and gathered outside HYBE’s headquarters to protest against the allegations.

Despite the backlash, HYBE denies the accusations. Currently, all BTS members are fulfilling their mandatory military service, with Army continuing to support the group.

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