Why Are The Climate Activists ‘Kpop 4 Planet’ Angry At Hybe Labels?

Kpop 4 Planet HYBE Labels
'Kpop 4 Planet' angry at HYBE.

With the K-pop climate activists protesting, HYBE Labels is under fire right now. On April 21, ‘Kpop 4 Planet’, a group of climate activists from the k-pop fandom arrived at the office of HYBE Labels in Seoul. The group went on to show media and HYBE the number of albums they’ve collected in the name of ‘waste’. While they found no luck talking to the higher authorities at the company, the activists did talk with the media about their reports. While the protest has gathered fans’ attention, everyone has mixed responses to the issues.

Formed by the k-pop stans all over the world, ‘Kpop 4 Planet’ is an organization fighting against climate change. They go by the saying “No K-pop On a Dead Planet”. Through their website, the activist fans have run several campaigns and fundraisers for the ones in need. Since the organization’s activity started, fandoms like EXO-Ls, Blinks, ARMY, and more have donated to help those affected by floods and typhoons in countries like Philipines, India, and Indonesia. Monbebe and Wenees adopted and sponsored more than 90 animals in the name of their idol, while EXO-Ls planted three forests in honor of Chen.

'Kpop 4 Planet'
‘Kpop 4 Planet’: Activists protests outside HYBE Labels

But Why Are The Activists From ‘Kpop 4 Planet’ Angry At HYBE?

When asked about the reasons behind the protest, the activists showed them their reports. They revealed that in order to celebrate Earth Day, the volunteers from the organization collected and donated physical album CDs throughout the month of March. The volunteers collected a total of 8027 copies of albums. The albums were then changed into several art pieces to raise awareness regarding the environmental damage that the entertainment companies are inflicting. And every single art piece delivered the message “Art Should Not End Up Here”.

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Knowing how much effort goes into the making of an album. From the k-pop idols themselves to the ones working in the studio and manufacturing. Out of all places, the albums should not end up in the trash and plastic waste. The volunteers from ‘KPop 4 Planet’ then explained the reason why they chose HYBE Labels and not any other company. According to their reports, HYBE Label alone sold over 15.23M copies out of 57,089,160 physical copies. They also pointed out that through the sales of photo cards, toys, etc., the company has been encouraging the sale of physical copies.

'Kpop 4 Planet'
‘Kpop 4 Planet’ volunteers delivered the albums they collected in the drive to HYBE. (Source: Yonhap News)

And while many fans do buy the physical albums to actually listen to the music, most fans just buy them as a collectible and later on discard them. They also pointed out that smaller companies like IST Entertainment have opted for a digital release, so why not the big ones.

What Do The K-pop Stans & Netizen Say?

Hearing about the protests by ‘Kpop 4 Planet’, netizens and the k-pop stans have come out with mixed opinions. Many of them pointed out that instead of just blaming HYBE Labels, the focus should be on the k-pop industry as a whole. The sale of photo cards and other collectible merch has visibly helped in the sales of albums for several k-pop idols in the industry. But in the end, the concept of recycling or donating doesn’t make any difference as the physical copies end up in the trash only. Many netizens came in support of the activists and asked the fans to hold the k-pop idols and the companies accountable.

Many netizens also asked for an alternative to physical copies. The sales records of the physical copies are one of the most important marks for the fans. As the award shows and media outlets all over the world consider them a mark of popularity. A few k-pop idols have tried to limit the manufacturing of physical copies during their comeback, with G-Dragon being one of the first ones to release his comeback with USBs instead of CDs. Recently Mino and Viction too released digital copies for their comebacks instead of the physical copies.

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