Fans sign petition to bring back iKON leader BI as YG Entertainment's stocks fall amid drug scandal
423,000 fans from across the world signed a petition titled "Hanbin (BI) Shouldn't have to leave iKON," in order to get BI back together with their favorite band
Another drug scandal hit the Korean entertainment industry June 12 when boy band iKON's leader, BI's involvement with a drug dealer was revealed. In 2016, the rapper tried to make a purchase of what is commonly know as LSD to "become a genius" and this was revealed through screenshots of Kakao talk chat messages between the rapper and the drug offender.
She reportedly confirmed to the police that she did deliver acid strips but denied divulging more information. At this time, the 22-year-old musician took to Instagram to apologize to his fans, but in his statement, he said he did try to purchase drugs, but never went through with it as he was scared. There have been further developments in the case, including allegations that YG Entertainment's (YGE) Yang Hyun Suk has tried to influence the drug dealer's statement by siccing a lawyer on her.
According to Soompi, it all started with a report by Dispatch, a Korean news organization which broke the news about rapper BI's Kakao conversation that took place in 2016. Initially, BI's former agency denied any allegations of the rapper using illegal drugs, however, once the initial statement from the drug dealer was released, BI released a statement and said he would be leaving the band in the face of all the allegations.
Followed by this, YGE also released a statement which confirmed BI's contract with them had been canceled. It was also revealed that the police got an initial testimony from a different drug dealer, who named many of his clients including BI and directed the police to the peddler who had the conversation with BI on Kakao Talk.
The witness who had initially confirmed she had delivered the acid strips, was given a lawyer who went through her statements and helped her with the case. This brought on a fresh onslaught of allegations claiming BI was trying to avoid repercussions with the help of Hyun Suk. YGE, however, released a statement and said they did not force a lawyer on the witness and that all they did was check her testimony thoroughly.
Following the developments, fans of iKON and BI felt it was not fair for BI to have left the band over this as he technically did not go through with the buy according to his statement. 423,000 fans (at the time of writing) from across the world signed a petition titled "Hanbin (BI) Shouldn't have to leave iKON," to get BI back together with their favorite band. Fans also noted that other clients of YGE who have done drugs before are still signed on with the entertainment agency and questioned why it must be any different for BI, who is not convicted of the charges.
The petition stated, "Hanbin was accused by Dispatch of 2016 drug use on June 11, 2019. There has been an official statement released, informing us that YG Entertainment orders drug tests every month or so from the USA and NONE of the iKON members, INCLUDING HANBIN tested positive. Please get this out for Hanbin or YG Entertainment to see."
It also added, "Ikonics (fans of iKON) and fans don't want Hanbin to leave iKON when he did nothing wrong. He doesn't deserve to. We just want him to be in a positive mental state and obviously at the time when he was thinking about doing drugs, he wasn't not (sic). Hanbin only mentioned he was thinking about drugs due to his pain, but NEVER took drugs due to being too scared. Please sign this!"
In the face of all this, according to a report in allkpop, the police have decided to reinvestigate and YGE's stocks have been falling ever since. The entertainment company's stocks fell by 4.05 percent from the previous day. As of June 12, YG’s stocks are priced at 31,950 won (approximately $27). It must also be noted that this is not the first time YGE is caught in a scandal this year. The agency previously severed ties with former BIGBANG member Seungri after his involvement with the "Burning Sun Scandal" became public.