Did SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man take credit for BTS's success? Here's why fans want him to apologize

A screenshot has been making the rounds on social media which says the 68-year-old entertainment mogul allegedly stated, 'Without Lee, there would be no BTS'


                            Did SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man take credit for BTS's success? Here's why fans want him to apologize
Lee Soo-man, BTS (Getty Images)

Lee Soo-man, best known as the founder of one of the biggest entertainment companies in South Korea, SM Entertainment, is being dragged on social media for allegedly making a controversial statement regarding BTS’ success.

A screenshot has been making the rounds on social media which says that the 68-year-old entertainment mogul allegedly stated, “Without Lee, there would be no BTS.” Before this, in a talk show with South Korean singer BoA, Soo-man claimed that BoA’s contribution in K-pop is "pathfinding" as she was the first person to break the language barrier in Japan with her debut Japanese album ‘Listen to my Heart’.

He also added that early efforts of the Girls’ Generation and artists such as BoA helped break the cultural barrier and a lot of young artists who are getting huge success is a subsequent result of that. A user shared the alleged statement with the caption, "Hitman bang literally said he doesn't wanna be called as the father of BTS ,but lee sooman here wanna claim he made bts successful!! Wtf is this."



 

Soo-man’s recent alleged statement and claims on the previous talk show did not sit well with many who believe that BTS’ credit can’t be given to anyone else except the members whose hard work has made their record-breaking success a reality.

A user said, "If lee sooman has to mention bts, a non sm group, as the constant example as for success of kpop in the west & cannot mention any of his own groups... what does that say about the so called huge impact he had on the globalisation of kpop?” Another stated, “My first groups were SNSD and Shinee all the way back in 2009 and I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH SM MISTREATS ITS OWN ARTISTS. Slave contracts, broken promises, racism, law suits... They never cared about anything but the bottom line and so many ppl got hurt bc of them.”

The user added, “It irks me to see the things SM has been saying recently, like they're trying to rewrite history… YEAH LIKE /NOW/ YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR GROUPS?? THE ONLY REASON YOU'VE CHANGED YOUR NARRATIVE IS YOU'VE BEEN USURPED FROM YOUR THRONE BUT SM YOUR LEDGER HAS ALWAYS BEEN BLEEDING RED.” Another fan noted, “SHINee was my first group in 2010, watching SM continue to let their talented artists down, mistreat them and repeat the same mistakes over and over is so depressing. They don't even get them the physical healthcare they need let alone caring for their mental wellbeing.” 



 



 



 



 

Another user who posed a different view shared a screenshot of the alleged quote and a Google search result of SM Entertainment being the first entertainment company stating, “LMAO Y'ALL LEE SOO MAN HAS A POINT, IF U DON'T BELIEVE THEN SEARCH IT URSELF.” Another said, “I actually think its true though. Withouth those 1st and 2nd gen, kpop would not be this popular. The only problem back then was the lack of internet. Now 3rd up to the present gen can easily reach out a bigger audience outside korea because of the internet,” adding, “& just BTS & blackpink made kpop. My heart broken when i hear something like this from new kpop fans these days. They think that they know about kpop but actually they don't know anything. Lee Sooman is a legendary person that made kpop bigger & bigger. He is the most effective + effective person in kpop history & without him this kpop never born. So i hope new kpop fans respect him other e more.”



 



 



 



 

BTS fans have also shared screenshots of the recent news reports that talk about BTS’ impact on the magazine industry where multiple BTS special issues of Variety, WSJ Magazine, Esquire and more had to go back to printing more copies for their overwhelming demand. The user shared, "Lee Sooman needs to read this. If you and your privileged groups have the power to do THIS, then go ahead and brag about your entitled self. (Fyi the magazine sector is just one of A LOT of business sectors that BTS has singlehandedly "helped" during the pandemic).” Another outraged, “So Lee Sooman instead of taking credit on my boy's career for which you didn't do s**t, maybe start writing apology letter and videos for the tons of cultural appropriation your groups did? Then maybe your net worth might rise. Not by associating your ass with BTS yk..” 



 



 

Read about Lee Sooman's interview with BoA here.

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