Did SM Entertainment sell K-pop idols' hair and blood? Founder Lee Soo-man dubbed 'sick' over 'DNA' necklaces

The South Korean record producer has been accused of making ‘slave contracts’ in the past where K-pop stars were under ‘crippling debt’


                            Did SM Entertainment sell K-pop idols' hair and blood? Founder Lee Soo-man dubbed 'sick' over 'DNA' necklaces
Lee Soo-man is under fire for allegedly selling K-pop idols' blood and hair in 'DNA' necklaces as Tony An spoke about it in a YouTube docu (YouTube Originals)

SM Entertainment’s founder Lee Soo-man is under fire for allegedly treating K-pop idols as ‘commodities’ where he once asked for the blood and hair of K-pop idols to make ‘DNA’ necklaces. Along with that, the 68-year-old South Korean record producer has been accused of making ‘slave contracts’ in the past where K-pop stars were put in ‘crippling debt’ and had to work for a considerable number of years to pay off their labels.

The new controversy emerged after YouTube Originals dropped a new documentary called 'K-pop Evolution' where K-pop idols have come together to talk about what it took to be a K-pop idol and the struggles that these seemingly popular idols had to endure in order to become a 'star'. But while speaking of various out-of-the-box things K-pop tried to introduce, the concept of 'DNA' necklaces didn't strike well with viewers as they were shocked to find out that Soo-man once 'okayed' an idea to sell DNA necklaces, and for making them K-pop idols were asked to submit the hair and blood to the company.

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'DNA' necklaces of H.O.T (YouTube Originals)

'They needed our blood to make those necklaces'



 

In the documentary, Tony An (Ahn), a member of the first generation K-pop group H.O.T, said that among the most out-of-the-box ideas of Soo-man, the blood and hair necklaces remain the most memorable one. Tony said, "Lee Soo-man is so brilliant in terms of business. But the most exceptional thing was the DNA necklace. We didn't even know what DNA is. They told us they needed our blood to make those necklaces. So we gave them our blood and hair. Not just from our heads but from everywhere. I didn't even know you could sell such things."

'K-pop idols as commodities'

The idea of acquiring blood and DNA of the actual idols to make a necklace isn't sitting well with K-pop fans of the current generation who are slamming Soo-man. While there is a debates about whether actual blood was used for the necklaces, the vessel-shaped penchant doesn't make it seem impossible for the brand to do that. An outraged fan said, "slave contracts, the hair & blood “dna” necklaces, the ai idol concept, the constant pushing and promoting idols as commodities for fans and everything before individuals that make music... lee sooman is straight up going to hell my god!"

Another fan added, "im not defending lsm but the constant pushing and promoting idols as commodities for fans and everything before individuals that make music is not done by lsm but the current CEO. but the DNA thing is his doing tho... disgusting!" A user shared, "lee sooman paved the way for tax evasion & dehumanisation of kpop idols... he's straight up crazy omfg he needs to go to HELL!"



 



 



 

Did SM 'sell' their artistes?

Fans have also slammed Soo-man for quite literally selling their idols. A fan said, "and people still think that SM can't sell their artists, create rumors and throw them under the bus? man sold their DNA and hair for money and that's actually the highest level of sickness and ofc idols who don't want to accept their shit are now the most mistreated ones." Another said, "Make of it what you will but, fans were already stealing their dna so SM decided to profits from it and people bought the necklace. Times were crazy back then I guess!"



 



 

While there is proof that actual DNA was used inside the necklaces, the idea of asking for blood from K-pop idols is definitely not sitting well with fans. A fan said, "I doubt it was the shape of the DNA since all dna is shaped the same. They most likely took a sample and amplified it(made millions of copies) and made the jewelry with the copies. Still creepy tho!"



 

Catch the series here. 

 



 

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