Why were BI, Seungri and TOP blurred out from Seoul Music Awards video? Fans ask SMA to apologize to Kim Han-bin

The video didn't sit well with many viewers and angered both iKon and Big Bang fans

                            Why were BI, Seungri and TOP blurred out from Seoul Music Awards video? Fans ask SMA to apologize to Kim Han-bin
It's not clear if SMA blurred out Kim Han-bin, Seungri and TOP because of their past controversies (Getty Images)

While some viewers have enjoyed the turnout of the 30th Seoul Music Awards, many are criticizing the awards show for a featured video that celebrated its past winners. Just before revealing the recipient of the Daesang award (one of the highest achievements for a group or artist), which was awarded to BTS, the ceremony played a highlight video of previous winners with awards ranging from the Daesang awards to Rookie of the Year awards. Some of the highlights of the clip included K-pop boy group Big Bang receiving a Daesang in 2007 and K-pop boy group iKon receiving their Rookie of the Year award in 2015, which have often been regarded as the most iconic moments where Daesang and Rookie of the Year awards were given.

The video didn't sit well with many viewers and angered fans of both those groups as certain members were blurred out. During iKon's highlight, Kim Han-bin (most commonly known as BI), was blurred out, even though he was holding the trophy. 

The same goes for members Seungri and TOP of Big Bang, who were blurred out during their segment.


Possible reasons for blurring

It hasn't been made clear as to the exact reason for blurring out the idols, but the artists reportedly have controversy previously tethered to their name. 


TOP was embroiled in controversy when he was charged with marijuana usage in 2017. He pleaded guilty, admitting that he did smoke marijuana in four instances in early October 2016 and received two years of probation. After undergoing a disciplinary review by the police, TOP was eventually assigned reservist status by the Ministry of National Defense and transferred from the police department to complete his mandatory service as a public service worker. TOP has reportedly reflected on his past and changed for the better.


Seungri's career took a setback when he became embroiled in a sex scandal with a Japanese woman. Subsequently, he stepped out of Big Bang's promotional activities for self-reflection. Seungri spoke of the scandal one year later on SBS talk show 'Incarnation', discussing how it helped him grow up and how fans began to view him more as an adult.


Kim Han-bin's controversial past is different in that he was actually proven innocent. In June 2019, he allegedly attempted the purchase of marijuana and LSD from an undisclosed female dealer, later revealed as a former female idol trainee who was involved in drug issues with TOP.

In February 2020, the result of a drug test conducted on BI was released and delivered a negative result. This was after a sample of his body hair was sent as a sample to the country's National Forensic Service for examination and no illegal drugs were detected. 

Fans are also speculating that another reason why the idols were blurred out is simply that they are not in their respective groups anymore. This is a less likely reason as many artists that are out of their groups, whether they left or were fired, can still be seen in different platforms of media, but this varies.

Fan reactions

The decision to blur out the artists has drawn the ire of many fans on Twitter who keep chanting "APOLOGIZE TO KIM HANBIN." One fan tweeted, "KIM HANBIN was the main pillar of the group. He made iKON, He produced iKON and he literally made iKON as GRAND SLAM ROOKIE in 3 countries," adding the aforementioned demand for an apology. One user noted, "I don't even stan but WTH.. I swear these award shows never learn.." "Sometimes, i really confuse with the blur system in korean ent industry. but for this case, realllyyy? WHY THO? wth," wrote a fan. "THAT IS SO FCKING DISRESPECTFUL," added another fan.







While fans demand an apology, the Seoul Music Awards is yet to comment on the blurring of the three idols.