K-Town

Blackpink Fans Protest YG Entertainment, Alleging Lack of Promoting Act

BLACKPINK
Roger Kisby/Getty Images for YouTube

BLACKPINK photographed at the YouTube Music Artist Lounge at Coachella 2019 on April 12, 2019 in Indio, Calif.

Some fans of BLACKPINK have launched an ad campaign protesting the lack of releases and promotional activities from the K-pop quartet, demanding that South Korean company YG Entertainment fulfill promises made to fans and the act.   

Today (Dec. 16), a truck started driving around the neighborhood of Seoul where YG Entertainment is located, playing both BLACKPINK’s music videos and listing demands from fan communities. “Blink Demands for BLACKPINK,” it read, referring to the act’s fandom, collectively known as Blink.

A video playing on the truck requested that YG give the act two comebacks — the term commonly used in South Korea for the release and promotion of new music — a year, release promised solo releases for the three other members of the act following Jennie’s from last year, proper promotion of the act, and having the act participate in year-end award shows.

While the act released Kill This Love in April, held a world tour, and appeared at Coachella, fans say they have been relatively under promoted by YG as they haven’t had many releases or televised appearances, despite being immensely popular. 

The four-member girl group has only released 13 original songs as an act, an additional collab with Dua Lipa, and a solo single from one member since the group’s foundation in 2016, despite assurances from YG’s founder -- prior to his stepping down from the company earlier this year amid a series of police investigations -- that the act would be more active in 2019 and that each of the other three members would release solo singles.

"Within the year 2019, it is my goal and desire that BLACKPINK makes 2 comebacks while the three remaining members release solo tracks in the order of Rosé, Lisa, and Jisoo," Yang wrote on the company's blog in February. He departed YG in June amid suspicion of multiple legal allegations against him. 

YG Entertainment has seen major setbacks this year after many prominent artists and executives under its auspices left the company amid suspicions of criminal activity. There are reports in South Korean media of a return by BLACKPINK in 2020. 

Last month, BLACKPINK's 2018 music video for "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du" became the first ever by a K-pop group to be viewed over 1 billion times. 

An admin of the BLACKPINK Radio Twitter account, which is spearheading the truck protest, says that further ads will run in Seoul beginning on Dec. 18. 

"We wanted to do the truck event -- along with other planned projects -- because us fans are really frustrated with BLACKPINK's treatment under YG," an admin of the account tells Billboard. 

"After much discussion and consideration, BLINKs decided to unite and fight for BLACKPINK. We believe they have an extraordinary potential that is being wasted under the YGE administration, and, as fans, we don't feel comfortable with the current situation. YGE have been feeding us with lies and false promises ever since the group debuted and even though we know the company has other artists to manage, BLACKPINK's management is still underwhelming when compared to their incredible success. We, as fans, are tired and disappointed that the group's potential feels subdued due to YGEs ways. Three years of existence, 13 songs, no full album, no proper promotions and only one comeback per year is infuriating and unacceptable. That being said, we decided to take action."

Following the truck’s appearance, several hashtags relate to the fan protest trended worldwide.

YG responded with a message posted to social media. The statement reads in full:

"YG is all ears when it comes to fans' concerns regarding BLACKPINK, as well as all of our artists. BLACKPINK is at the last leg of [their] 2019-20 world tour, consisting of 32 concerts in four continents, 23 cities with now ending with Japan dome tour. At the same time, they are working hard at the recording studio for their new album. We appreciate Blinks' interest and would like to ask you to continue supporting the girls working on their album release schedules in [the] early part of 2020.

"All of us at YG would like to express our deepest gratitude to the fans and would like to take this opportunity to share with you that we are doing our absolute best to give BLACKPINK and Blinks the best music YG has to offer."