As many of y’all know by now, I’m a huge fan of BTS and have written several appreciation posts about them and basically run my blog talking about how great, talented, and wonderful they are and even my Tumblr account is dedicated to basically BTS. However, as much as I love the boys and will continue to love and support them, there are also things about the group and especially about their agency Big Hit Entertainment that I have issues and concerns with that I definitely think needs to be addressed and resolved.
Before I go on to make my points, I’d like to acknowledge that I am not blaming any of the BTS members for anything that’s happened or is going on and never will, but rather am pointing out the mistakes and mistreatment that Big Hit has caused the past four years. So yes Big Hit, this one is for you.
To make this short, BTS’s Jin is probably the least appreciated and underrepresented member in BTS. He receives the least amount of lines in their songs and has the least amount of screen time in their music videos. Then not too long ago, a banner that CJENMMUSIC released on their youtube channel excluded Jin which only made things worse than they already were and made many fans (especially Jin stans) upset and frustrated. Many Tumblr posts have already talked about this so I won’t say much, but I just want to reiterate that Jin is a living angel who deserves better. He deserves everything good in the world. He pours so much of his time and effort into making ARMY’s happy and making others smile and feel good about themselves – all at the expense of himself and his own pain. He suppresses his feelings and emotions of neglect and hurt just so he can make others happy. He believes that as long as he makes other happy then everything is okay and in the process forgets about himself and how he should also be happy as well. It’s just so so sad – that someone as precious, loving, angelic, kind, and caring as Jin has to pretend that everything’s fine and has to fake how he truly feels so as to not make fans worry and concerned. But for how much longer is he going to be like this? And for how much longer are fans going to pretend like everything is okay when it’s actually not and are going to continue ignoring this issue?
Having been into K-Pop for the past decade, something that I’ve always been careful about are the images that entertainment companies feed fans in regards to how every group is a “family” and all entertainment companies are one big happy family who are super close and have great relationships with one another. It’s all just this false image and concept that companies demonstrate and throw out to fans to gain money and fans and honestly, some companies have done a great job in doing that. They have done a successful and effective job in persuading fans to think that their entertainment company is one huge loving family and whatnot. I’m a bit of a realistic person so I’ve never bought into this concept and image and I probably never will because I’ve learned over the years how K-Pop entertainment companies operate and function within the industry. But going back to this concept of companies being ‘families’, I would say that although some companies push this image and concept a little bit more than others, Big Hit is no exception to this concept. I think the general conception of Big Hit is that they’re a great company because they allow the BTS members to express themselves, their stories, and their experiences through their music in which they have. BTS has mentioned that they do have that ability and freedom to use their songs and music as a platform of expression and I’m grateful that Big Hit provides them those opportunities. However, I also think it is just as important and crucial to view the other side and stories of Big Hit that is not known or viewed often regarding how they treat the BTS members. Some of these things might have been in the past and some will argue that one needs to just move on as these things happened in the past and things have changed now, but in all honesty, we never know what’s going on behind the cameras. And this extends to all of K-Pop and not just Big Hit and BTS, but everything that happens on camera differs heavily from what happens behind the camera. So although BTS might seem happy and fine on camera, who are we to think that they are also happy and fine off camera… because chances are they probably are not all the time. It’s important to not view Big Hit as this angelic company who has never does anything wrong and have never mistreated the members because they probably have and are still doing so – especially to Jin. Yes, Big Hit has allowed the members to create their own music and write lyrics to their songs and has really given the boys opportunities to open up and grow as artists which makes fans believe that they’re this really great company, but it’s also important to not be fooled by this image and to only believe that Big Hit has never done anything wrong or knows everything. Because Big Hit and BTS has fed this image consistently to fans over the years, that’s how many people has come to viewing Big Hit which then makes them become blinded to all the other aspects of Big Hit that are not so positive or great but that’s not how it should be. Big Hit is an entertainment company and at the very end of the day, just like all other entertainment companies, they are a business who care about money, making profit, and surviving in the tough and competitive K-Pop industry and will do whatever they can to achieve that.
That’s not to say that Big Hit isn’t a smart and effective company because they are. They are one super smart and creative and intelligent team. I actually think they’re one of the smartest and most intelligent companies in a very long time. They knew what they wanted to do with BTS from the very beginning since BTS’s debut with the whole youth concept and have executed that concept throughout the last four years up until now and even into the future. They were able to consistently put out great music, music videos, and performances that aligned with the concept of youth and protecting the youth against society and societal injustices and issues – a tactic that is rare to see in the K-Pop industry. Unlike other entertainment companies who decides when to give their groups and artists comebacks and promotions that are random and don’t necessarily focus on any one concept, Big Hit has certain plans in mind for BTS and knows what they wanna do with the group. They probably have plans for BTS in 2030 already planned out because they work that far ahead and know well ahead of time what they want to do with the boys. They have an agenda, vision, and idea set out for BTS and then execute it accordingly which I think is super smart, effective, and time-efficient. It’s even easier because then with this one concept that BTS has, Big Hit only has to focus on making music and MV’s that align with this one concept and then go from there. They don’t have to worry as much about what types of concepts and music they need to create for BTS for every comeback because they already know that the huge overall theme that BTS focuses on is about ‘youth.’ So with one overall theme in mind, it makes it easier for them to come up with new music and MV’s to meet that concept and theme and allows for greater overall consistency across all songs and MV’s. Compared to other entertainment companies who give their groups and artists random comebacks with random concepts and songs, Big Hit knows what they wanna do with BTS and focuses on the concept of ‘youth’ that BTS has done from the very beginning which I think is super smart and effective.
However, because Big Hit knows what they wanna do with BTS, they will do whatever they can to accomplish those plans. I think my biggest pet peeve with Big Hit (among many) has definitely got to be them overworking the boys over the course of the last 4 years and giving them a small amount of time to rest or just relax. I mean with BTS’s most recent world tour that they just recently finished, they were constantly working and doing something. While on their world tour, BTS was also promoting Japanese ‘BST’ in Japan and traveling back and forth to promote the single. And then they were even filming for Bon Voyage Season 2. They were doing so many things in between their world tour it just made me baffled that Big Hit would make them do multiple things at once as if doing concerts (sometimes back to back) around the world wasn’t hard, difficult, and exhausting enough. On top of that, making them travel back and forth to Japan to promote BST and then having them film BVS2 and then doing tons of interviews in between and then having them even work on their next album as well as work on preparations for BTS Festa – the boys were probably dying and so so exhausted (as evident in their interviews tbh). I know this was a tactic that Big Hit used in the past to promote BTS which is why they are so popular the way they are now. Big Hit was continually putting BTS out there with new music and MV’s and basically working them at every opportunity they could get and then eventually building off of that foundation and success so I can see why Big Hit felt the need to continually push BTS out more and more a few years back when they were still not that popular. But with how BTS is now, I would like it if they could just have a break and not have to worry about making music or doing photoshoots or interviews or anything else. I feel like the members don’t really have any time to just relax; they’re always constantly working. If they’re not preparing for a comeback or doing promotions for a comeback (which is already exhausting and tiring enough), they’re either promoting in Japan, holding concerts or showcases in other countries, doing photoshoots, or filming commercials and other things. They never really catch a break and while a part of me is proud to see them everywhere and is proud to have been there and witness them work their way up, I also do think they’re at a point in their careers where they can afford to take a break and not have to worry about being replaced or threatened by other potential up and rising groups. They can afford to make 2 comebacks per year and just do minimal activities in between without doing any heavy promotions. In fact, a wish of mines is that they would stop making continual comebacks and instead take the time to rest and enjoy themselves or appear on variety shows as it would be another good way for the members to maintain that momentum, popularity, attention, and respect within the K-pop industry without having to work too hard. And I know the boys love making music and they enjoy making music which I am in full support of, but I also do wish to see them do other things outside of music such as variety shows where they can have the opportunity to showcase their personalities and become more popular and respected by their Sunbaes and Hoobaes or even take a step in radio DJing or acting. I’m not sure if it’s because Big Hit doesn’t have as much of a strong connection to other people in the industry or if it’s just because they rather have BTS focus primarily on music because that’s what the members themselves want, but it’d be a nice change to see the boys do something else and to venture into other components of entertainment that we don’t often get to see them in. We all know they have the personalities fit for variety shows, rap line can definitely rap, dance line has the skills to showcase their dancing, and Jin and V have the acting skills and visuals for dramas. I think it’s about time that they are given the opportunities to showcase them. I think it’s ironic that Big Hit doesn’t put the members out onto variety shows more because 1) they can definitely afford to do so considering how demanding and popular the boys are right now 2) they have the talent and personality 3) other entertainment companies use variety shows as a tactic and method to push their idols and groups out there to gain more exposure and popularity. It’s admirable that BTS was able to become popular primarily through their music and performances, but I’d like to see Big Hit do things differently and not be afraid to take risks and changes and try new things.
That brings me to my next point which is that Big Hit has been pretty much doing the same thing with BTS the last 4 years which is why Jin is so heavily underrepresented and undervalued in BTS by both Big Hit and ARMY’s. Big Hit has created this formula of success for BTS and so they’ve been playing it safe by continuing this formula and not necessarily going out of their own ways to try new things because they’re afraid of failure or bad results. They give Jungkook majority of the lines in their songs, rap line usually gets their own verse, Jungkook or Jimin is usually in the center of the choreography, etc etc. And this has worked for BTS in the past when they were still not as popular and were still trying to get their names out there which I understand, but now that BTS is growing and becoming increasingly popular, I think Big Hit can afford to experiment with the group and do things differently without having to worry that BTS will fail or won’t succeed. BTS has already built such a solid and strong foundation and fanbase for themselves that they can try new things and see what else works for them or not without losing any popularity (in fact doing the same thing over and over again might actually hurt BTS in the long run as it might get boring and too familiar for some). I want to challenge Big Hit to try new things and to venture out of what they are familiar with, meaning give Jin (and Jimin and V more lines) and more screentime in their music videos. It’s obvious that Big Hit has been pushing Jungkook to be the center/visual of BTS ever since their debut by giving him main acting roles in their MV’s as well as the majority of the lines in almost every song and making him the center of their choreography. Once again, I don’t blame Jungkook for being pushed so much by Big Hit because it’s not as if he wants it and there’s nothing he can do about it. He’s only doing what Big Hit wants and is only doing what he is being told to do; in fact, I think if he had a choice he would rather prefer to not be the center of attention so much because of the huge amount of pressure, burden, weight, and even hate that he might get taking on such a pivotal and crucial role in BTS. I understand that Jin might not be the best vocalist and dancer, but he is still a member regardless and he should be appreciated. Okay, fine, maybe he’s not the strongest in singing and dancing so I can try to see why Big Hit would not want to place emphasis on Jin in those areas. However, if he’s not the strongest in singing and dancing, then give him opportunities where he is strong and where he will shine – aka his acting (which he literally majored in college). Especially as the visuals of the group, he should be taking on the main character roles in their MV’s, he should be the center of their choreographies as other visuals do in other groups respectively, and he should definitely have a lot more screentime in their MV’s. But Big Hit just doesn’t do any of that nor do they care and they’ve been treating Jin like this the past 4 years. They’ve never really taken the time to support Jin so he had to do things himself to promote himself. Big Hit was not paying any attention to Jin that he had to come up with new ideas to promote himself and bring forth more visibility as a member of BTS because Big Hit – who should be the one responsibility for doing this – wasn’t doing their job as an entertainment company in promoting Jin. I know that entertainment companies are biased and have favorites with certain idol members in groups and market those who stand out more (hence certain members being visuals/centers), but wouldn’t they also want all the members of the group to be as popular as they can be? Wouldn’t Big Hit want all the members to shine and excel in the areas that they are the strongest in because that means more popularity and more $$? I think if given the opportunity, Jin could really shine and hit it big and give BTS even more of the recognition and love that they already have now. But it’s just that he hasn’t been given that opportunity yet by Big Hit which is why no one knows of his many talents and skills and why he’s in such a bad situation in BTS. It makes me so sad when I think about how Big Hit treats Jin because he literally has killer visuals/looks (which is not the only thing he is though). He’s by far one of the most handsome idols ever and I just don’t understand why Big Hit doesn’t capitalize on that. Jin has a wonderful voice and his dancing has definitely improved over the years, but he might not be the strongest in those areas so Big Hit might not want to place him in the forefront in those two areas which I can see and understand, but if Jin literally has the face of an angel and has the acting skills to go along with that, I don’t understand why Big Hit just doesn’t give him the chance to prove himself. Jin has it all going for him and the only thing holding him back right now is Big Hit which is sad and frustrating because it shouldn’t be that way. Jin’s entertainment company that he rejected SM Entertainment for should not be the enemy that is holding Jin back and preventing him from blossoming. It should not be that way. Instead, Big Hit should be the one that is pushing Jin forth and giving him endless opportunities to prove himself in acting, singing, dancing, and much more. And he definitely has the skills and personality for variety shows as well, but it confuses me as to how hesitant Big Hit has been in giving Jin those opportunities to shine. Sometimes I think about what it would have been like had Jin not reject SM and had debuted with SM instead. I could totally see him as a member in EXO and he’d probably be the visual if he had chosen to be in SM instead to be honest. SM would have capitalized the shit out of Jin had he been in SM so it doesn’t make any sense as to why Jin – who was scouted by one of the biggest Kpop entertainment companies – continues to be neglected by Big Hit. If a company as big and smart as SM saw something in Jin and wanted him, you would also think that Big Hit would see the same value in Jin as well but they don’t and they haven’t and it honestly scares me that they never will. But it just doesn’t make any sense.
Honestly, I don’t even think fans are asking for much. The first small thing we would like is for Jin to be given more lines in their songs because he has a wonderful and beautiful voice that should be heard more often. I don’t think that’s asking for too much, but yet Big Hit refuses to do so and continues to give Jungkook the majority of the lines for their songs. Jin is often hidden in the back for BTS’s choreography and dances and is rarely ever in the center (which is ironic because he’s a visual and as a visual he should be in the center even if he isn’t necessarily the strongest or best in dancing) so would it hurt Big Hit if they just maybe allowed Jin to be in the center for just a chorus? (But at the same time a part of me feels like Big Hit isn’t even acknowledging that Jin is the visual and instead is pushing forth Jungkook more as the visual of BTS). It’d be great to see Jin venture out into other aspects such as acting not only in their MV’s but also in Korean dramas which would do wonders for him, BTS, Big Hit, and pretty much everyone. Jin did not go to college and major in acting so he wouldn’t get to act. But if Big Hit doesn’t give Jin something as simple as lines in their songs then I don’t think we can expect to see him anytime soon in other areas unfortunately.
Jin has been treated like this for the past 4 years since their debut and unfortunately it has never gotten better over time. He came into Big Hit with the hopes of achieving his dreams of becoming an actor and singer, but unfortunately Big Hit has failed him tremendously. They neglect him by giving him a few seconds to sing, placing him in the back of choreographies, and giving him only a few seconds in their MV’s. I know this must be so frustrating and sad for Jin; he talked about it in ‘Awake’ (in which I must mention his lyrics got rejected 20 times before finally being accepted) and how he might never live up to the potential that the other members are given but it’s okay with him. I also think that his position as the eldest in BTS might play a role in this as he doesn’t want to be shown complaining because he’s the oldest and he doesn’t want to be seen as weak but rather as someone who’s strong and caring for the younger members so he holds everything in and pretends to be fine even if it’s at the expense of his own happiness and health. It’s really sad especially when you consider that this has been going on for the past 4 years since BTS’s debut. Nothing has changed then and nothing has changed now and if Big Hit hasn’t done anything about this for the past four years, I don’t think anything will change unfortunately. But not all hope is lost and fans have the most power and say in all of this and if enough fans unite to complain and bring about awareness to this issue, I think Big Hit might finally start to do something about it and improve the situation for Jin and BTS, but this is already difficult enough with the fandom being heavily divided and disjointed. There’s so many things that Big Hit can do and improve upon to make BTS even more successful than they are now and I can only hope that they will hopefully be okay with experimenting and trying new things as they should. If the rap line are given opportunities to record and release mixtapes, give Jimin and Jungkook (+ J-hope) the opportunities to showcase their dancing, and Jin and V the opportunities to act in dramas and participate in variety shows. I’m grateful that they’ve given the members opportunities to express themselves through their music and allow them to travel around the world and do collaborations with legendary artists and whatnot because not all groups are given these opportunities and not everyone is fortunate enough to do amazing things like this, but all of this is done at whose expense? At what cost? I think that’s what fans should reflect and be critical about. Yes, we’re being fed well by Big Hit and BTS, but who’s suffering because of all of this? And can anything be done to change and improve the situations that they are in? And that answer is yes, there definitely can be improvements made to strengthen the success and future of BTS. There always is, and there always will be. But it has to start with Big Hit and we need to let Big Hit know what they are and aren’t doing well.