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The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Controversies With BlockBerry Creative And Loona’s Worldwide Boycott

The+Controversies+With+BlockBerry+Creative+And+Loona%E2%80%99s+Worldwide+Boycott

   In 2022, the world of K-pop had many controversies. These include artist Le Sserafim’s Garam’s false bullying accusations, NMixx and Treasure losing members, and Hyuna and Dawn breaking up.

   Out of all these scandals, one that has been on-going for the past year has a company under fire. Loona, a 12-member girl group under the company BlockBerry Creative, debuted on August 19, 2018. The group is known for their introductory publicity stunt in which each member was revealed one by one with solo albums during pre-debut that lasted 18 months until all the members debuted as a 12-member group with their debut song Hi High. 

   In their most recent Japanese comeback, LUMINOUS released September 28, 2022, the member Chuu was absent. On July 25, 2022, the company said she would not be a part of the Japanese single or the LOONATHEWORLD tour.

Who is Chuu?

   Chuu, real name Kim Ji Woo is said to be the face of Loona on Kprofiles. She was the tenth member introduced with her spirit animal as a penguin and her member color being peach pink. She was introduced with her album Heart Attack, the top song on Loona’s Spotify with 70 million listens. She was in the subunit yyxy (Yves, Go Won, Olivia Hye) with the EP beauty&thebeats and is usually first to second when it comes to line distribution. Chuu has a Youtube channel where she vlogs her exploring, eating, and hanging out with the other members. She is loved in the K-pop community with her bubbly personality and is one of the most popular members with the most fans.

The Start/Chuu’s Leave

   Starting from the beginning, Chuu spoke out about her unfair contract with BlockBerry and did not receive any income in 2021 on the show Dr. Oh’s Golden Clinic. She started by talking about a binge eating issue with spicy foods, then brought up how she didn’t receive any income in 2021.

   She discussed how she became super stressed and she would only eat one big meal because multiple meals a day cost too much. Fans were shocked after the interview and heavily criticized BlockBerry online, Chuu ended up taking legal action against BlockBerry. She partially won the lawsuit but she was “expelled and withdrawn” from the company and as a member of the group on November 25, 2022.

   BlockBerry announced that Chuu was kicked from the group because of “violent language and misuse of power towards staff.” Fans were shocked and expressed their anger throughout social media with comments like “JUSTICE FOR CHUU” or “Loona will always be OT12” meaning Loona will always be 12 even without Chuu. 

After Chuu Left

   After hearing nothing from Chuu for a few months, she made a personal Instagram account with the username @chuuo3o where she posted her work on tv show sets and modeling gigs like being the cover of Cosmopolitan Korea. Even though we do not see her on stage with Loona anymore, she is still active in the K-pop industry. She has her own Spotify where she releases K-drama original soundtracks and singles. She also has been MCing at concerts and even performed on stage with (G)-idle’s Yuqi, Oh My Girl’s Arin, Brave Girls’ Yujeong, and soloist YENA. She’s doing well and still keeps in touch with the members. On April 7, She signed with ATRP, a startup company, as the company’s first soloist.

Speaking out.

   After “LUMINOUS” came out, YeoJin, the fourth member, mentioned that she also hasn’t been paid “since debut” at a fan sign/meet-n-greet, in September 2022. A fan complimented her expensive bag claiming YeoJin was rich. She denied the comments saying her mom gave it to her and that she can’t even buy earrings. The fan was concerned asking if that was okay to say, YeoJin said “it’s the truth” and how they haven’t paid her since 2018. After that fans found out that none of the members have been paid and fans went crazy, posting the shocking news on any social media they could get their hands on. 

Why have the members not been paid if they’re making so much money?

   BlockBerry Creative, established on March 22, 2016, created its first-ever group, Loona, on October 2, 2016. Loona debuted uniquely with the company introducing a different member with a solo album and a music video each month starting from HeeJin on October 5, 2016, ending with Olivia Hye on March 30, 2018. They also added three subunits with six more albums talking about two and a half years before debut. Most of Loona’s music videos were filmed around the world adding on more expenses. Adding on BlockBerry spent 1.5 million USD on Loona’s Debut Music Video Hi High and the album [++]. The pre and debut cost around nine million USD putting BlockBerry in debt. 

Overworking The Idols

   In the K-pop community, it is well-known that idols spend most of their time training and practicing in addition to performing on stage. They do shows back to back which can be hard on them both mentally and physically. Loona’s schedule was filled with training, recording music videos, and performing on stage right after they were introduced.

   During 2022, Loona’s schedule was packed; they first announced that they’ll be participating in the Mnet group show Queendom, on February 21. They ended up not participating in the first round due to all the members getting COVID. In May, one month after the show ended, Loona announced their world tour “LOONATHEWORLD tour” starting in Europe. In June, the EP Summer Special [Flip That], was released with six songs. In September, they released their Japanese single LUMINOUS without Chuu adding on three  more songs. 

Over Working Loona During The Tour

   LOONATHEWORLD USA tour started in Los Angeles on August 1 adding on K-CON LA on the 19 then ending in Mexico City on the 28. Fans posted on social media how they were appalled that Loona’s members started to deteriorate during the tour starting with 11 slowly losing one member per concert, they ended the USA world tour with only half the members on stage. 

   They started the Europe tour in Poland on September 6 but Choerry [choe-li], the eighth member, announced that she will not be participating in the Europe tour due to health issues. Fans went crazy on Twitter saying that “Loona’s Europe tour needs to be delayed” and “serious action needs to take place. no more tour stops, no more dates Loona needs to rest and go home. Fainting on stage is not normal.” Video evidence shows the youngest member, YeoJin fainting on stage after performing. The Company decided to finish the world tour in Korea where each member performed their pre-debut solo during Act two.

Loona Members Lawsuit Against BlockBerry Creative

   On January 13, 2023, 9 out of the 11 Members signed Lawsuits to terminate their contracts with their company BlockBerry Creative. The Northern District Court Civil Division in Seoul proposed that the four members HeeJin, Kim Lip, JinSoul, and Choerry’s contracts be terminated, winning their lawsuits, but sadly the other five members HaSeul, YeoJin, Yves, Go Won, and Olivia Hye’s contact to continue under BlockBerry losing their lawsuits.

   A month after the lawsuit news, on February 3, members ViVi and HyunJin also filed for their contracts to be suspended with BlockBerry Creative.This means that all Loona members have filed for suspension in their contracts. Unfortunately, no new information about their contact being officially suspended has come out yet, but it is said that ViVi and HyunJin’s contracts are the same as the four members that won their lawsuits. 

Loona Members Signing Contracts With an Old Friend 

   On March 17, 2023, HeeJin, Kim Lip, JinSoul, and Choerry signed an exclusive contract with the company, Modhaus. This company is the creator of the group TripleS and subunit Acid Angels. The joint CEO Jaden Jeong worked with Loona and came up with their lore until he left during the [XX] era due to not “aligning” as with their company’s intention as they did before. Jaden said in an interview that he “felt very empty” when he couldn’t proceed with Loona any further. In a note on Modhaus’ official website, Jaden wrote that he wishes the girls the “best of luck in their new beginnings.” The girls also admitted that they kept in contact with Jaden after he left even though BlockBerry was against keeping in contact with him.

   Slowly but surely Modhaus has been trying to buy Loona from BlockBerry. By filing for a trademark for the Loona subunit Odd Eye Circle with the members, Kim Lip, JinSoul, and Choerry. Fans were excited to hear the news and are happy for the new fresh start of Loona’s re-debut. HeeJin, Kim Lip, JinSoul, and Choerry said in an article that they are ready to record for their new re-debut. 

   That being said, they recently announced that HeeJin, Kim Lip, Choerry, and JinSoul will be debuting in a group named Artms. On their Instagram @offical_artms they have new photos and a new slogan “we rise together, back to the moon and beyond.” The moon referencing Loona and their them being based off the moon and beyond meaning that they have more fortunes coming for them in the future of their careers.

Why You Should Not Stream Anything Loona 

   Even though Modhaus has won four  of the girls from Loona, seven of the girls are still under BlockBerry Creative and still not getting paid. Buying albums, Watching or liking any videos or posts on Loona’s social media platform or even using their tiktok audios will give profit to the company and none to the girls. Listening on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc, will add money to the profit that BlockBerry receives off stream. None of the money that Loona gets from streams, gigs, and performances go to the girls which is unlike any group in the K-pop industry. 

   When the girls don’t receive money, they can’t support themselves mentally and physically. Said previously, Chuu commented about her unhealthy one meal eating problem due to not having enough money to financially support herself. Is that what it’s like for the other members? Loona is living in a financial crisis, DO NOT GIVE BLOCKBERRY CREATIVE ANY SOURCE OF PROFIT.

How to Support The Boycott

   Loona fans say their “deprived” are missing Loona’s sound and music. Here are ways to listen and support Loona without giving the company money. Please look at emojis to see what is ok✔️ to do and what is not❌.

Listening And Watching 

   There are many options to watch Loona’s music videos, and streaming their music. ✔️Starting off with Youtube, there are playlists just to watch their music videos or listen to every soundtrack Loona has. You can also listen to their songs on Soundcloud ✔️.

   ❌Do not stream Loona’s music on apps like Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and Youtube Music and do not watch any music videos on their official Youtube channel.

   Streaming Music And Videos❌.

   ✔️Watching stages/performances on channels like Mnet/M2, Music Bank or KCON Official is fine to watch because it’s not Loona’s official channel and any views that the performances get on youtube goes to the show producers, not the company.✔️ As long as you don’t watch on Loona’s official channel, you will not be giving BlockBerry Company money.

Social Media

   Social media is a big way companies get money from likes, reshares, followers, and audio uses. If you follow any of the Loona official accounts on Twitter, Tiktok, or Instagram, unfollow the account immediately.

   On Instagram, there are fan accounts that repost all of Loona’s new posts so it can keep you updated with accounts like @loonathefab and @loonalog keeping fans updated on the girls. You can also follow most of the girls on Instagram now.

   On Tiktok, liking any videos on Loona’s on their official account or using their audios on Tiktok on Instagram will give profit to BlockBerry due to their account being verified and them being verified artists on mainstream music apps. People create random audios all the time on Tiktok so it’s easy to find audios make Tiktoks to without using the official audios. Always check that Loona’s official account is not linked to the audio, if not it is safe to use.

Official Merch

   For fans that want to buy official merch like albums, seasons greetings or other cool merch that they have, there are alternative options. Option one; buy it second hand. A lot of sellers on ebay or off of Instagram sell stuff like Loona photocards or albums that you can buy second hand and most of the items were bought before the boycott and are safe to buy. 

   If you want fresh new copies of albums or merch, most online and instore album stores do not restock on Loona anymore due to the boycott. Most stores will post on their social media pages that they will no longer restock while some in person stores will usually have a sign up near the Loona albums or around the store.

Proof that the Boycott has been working  

   Loona announced their new comeback [O] on January 3, 2023. Pre-order sales dropped by 98% and this made BlockBerry panic pushing the comeback’s release. K-pop Stores all around the world posted on social media and put signs up saying they will not be stocking up on anymore official Loona merch.

   Other evidence shows that Loona’s following count on Instagram has gone down by 200,000 starting at 2.6 million to 2.4 million. They have also lost 90,000 starting off with 990,000 and now having 900,500. Loona has also not posted in almost four weeks on Instagram compared to other groups like (G)-idle and itzy that post Daily without any new songs out yet. 

   Loona’s Japanese Company, Universal Japan has also filed for exclusive rights and management to Loona after hearing all the girls’ lawsuits. This means even if Loona dispands in Korea, they have a chance to keep producing music in Japan, not under BlockBerry Creative

   Please help Loona get out of BlockBerry Creative and move to Modhaus. Do not give any money to BlockBerry Creative! The fight is still not over to save Loona!

Conclusion

   This was to show the truth behind some Kpop companies and the scandals they pull that affects the idols under their company. This is not always true for all companies but it’s still possible to happen. 

   Loona’s situation is not new to a lot of older K-pop fans. We have seen it with a lot of lesser known groups like, The Rose and STELLAR or sometimes companies will single out one member’s payment like MOMOLAND’s Yeonwoo or Baby Boo’s Dayul and Daon. 

   We need to put a stop to companies not paying their idols and Loona is a great example of that. Please help Loona get out of BlockBerry Creative and move to Modhaus. Do not give any revenue and profit to BlockBerry Creative! There is still a chance to save Loona and have them get the payment they deserve. Loona needs to re debut even if they are no longer called Loona. #BOYCOTTLOONA. 

   BOYCOTT LOONA AND END BLOCKBERRY CREATIVE. 

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Olivia Panelo, Clubs Editor
HII :D I’m Olivia. I am a sophomore and I am the clubs editor here on Hazen’s newspaper staff. I love trying to give a spotlight to newer clubs or clubs that are lesser known. Ever need help getting your club out there, message me on Instagram @liv._jpg, and trying to find the perfect club for you? Read my article Club quiz here. I hope you enjoy my articles on the new online paper. STAN TWICE
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    eshanaJan 30, 2024 at 7:23 am

    this ate

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