HYBE Issues An Official Apology After Fans Report Allegations Of Sexual Harassment By Security Guards At Fan Signing Event, The Details Shocked Netizens

Published Categorized as Kpop

HYBE is on the receiving end of some heavy backlash after fans took to SNS to share their experiences after attending &TEAM fan signing event the prior day.

On the 8th of July, the HYBE Japan-affiliated boy group, &TEAM, held an in-person fan sign event. According to fans who attended the event, HYBE staff members searched the fans’ bodies, including their chests, before proceeding with the fan sign event. Fans suspected that this was because they were concerned that fans might secretly record their conversations with the members using smartwatches or other recording devices hidden in their underwear but the method used caused immense backlash.

The incident became talked about so much so that on Twitter, the hashtag “#underwearsearch” became a trending hashtag.

Some fans reported their accounts with the security guards via social media, this includes the guards touching them around their breasts, poking them around asking if they’re hiding electronic devices. One fan reported they touched her upper breast and lower breast and felt so uncomfortable she had to lift her clothing. Multiple fans reported they were also taken to a private area where they were asked to lift their clothing and have their underwear inspected.

Upon learning about these incidents, online criticism arose, accusing HYBE of infringing on the rights of fans under the guise of security measures.

HYBE’s response included a partial apology and a continuous mention of the fact that female guards conducted the said searches.

Read their apology below!

This is Weverse Shop, we would like to apologize to the fans who attended the in-person fan sign event on July 8th regarding the security body checks conducted by a female security guard.
The fan sign event is an opportunity for one-on-one conversations between artists and fans, and to prevent the leakage of recorded content that could put fans and artists in difficult situations, we have strictly limited the entry of electronic devices capable of recording and filming. We appreciate the active cooperation of many fans in this regard.
However, on the 8th, there were several cases where electronic devices were concealed and brought in, leading to security body checks conducted by a female security guard. We deeply regret that this caused discomfort to the fans who attended the event with joyous anticipation.
We understand that no matter the reason for security measures, it cannot be a basis for making fans uncomfortable. We sincerely apologize for the incident that occurred at the event.
Moving forward, we will prepare improvements, such as introducing non-contact methods for security searches, to ensure that fans can participate in fan sign events with a more comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere.
Thank you.

HYBE’s response to the issue has garnered immense backlash from netizens for multiple reasons including the word and the insistence on repeatedly pointing out female bodyguards did the searches, netizens argue that it doesn’t matter if female security guards did it as it still was pushing the boundaries. Some netizens also believe HYBE could have afforded metal detectors that are used in airports.

Source: (A)

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