Why did Starship Entertainment delete IM's 'Duality' teasers? Monsta X rapper's t-shirt sparks controversy
South Korean rapper IM was facing the ire of many on social media when he wore a shirt with an Islamic phrase on it
Starship Entertainment, the label behind K-pop group MONSTA X, has had to retract new teaser images and issued an apology following backlash from Islamic fans.
New teasers can be exciting, not only for fans but for labels and artists as well and it can be easy to get lost in the hype, but one needs to be careful about what content makes its way to the Internet.
MONSTA X member IM is dropping his solo debut album on February 19 and the build-up to it was certainly huge. However, the South Korean rapper found himself facing the ire of many on social media when he wore a shirt with an Islamic phrase on it. In one of the teasers, IM is seen wearing a shirt with the Arabic inscription: "Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim."
Bismillah is regarded as a sacred phrase for Muslims, which translates to "In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful." It is recited in various Islamic rituals including daily prayer and more.
Tw // Islamphobia.— Fonfon — online classes. (@F0F0B3AR) February 14, 2021
for those who don't know this is the bimilla on his top, it says "bismillahirahmanirahim" which means "In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful." and we say it before reading the Quran. its not an aesthetic, muslims shouldn't even have Allahname https://t.co/W8rWQFw95k pic.twitter.com/isnu5NEEDP
There have been attempts to discover which brand is behind the shirt, but to no avail, so some fans think that IM's shirt could be custom-made by MONSTA X's stylists. The controversy has also led to arguments from fans, with some insisting that IM would not have worn the shirt if he was aware while others slammed the rapper for ignorance or religious insensitivity.
Starship Entertainment issues apology
Starship Entertainment has been quick to take action by deleting the photos and issued a formal apology. "This is Starship Entertainment. Regarding the concept photos that were released for I.M's Digital Mini Album 'DUALITY', Starship Entertainment took down all photos of the clothes that included religious prints," they began their apology, according to Allkpop.
"We should have taken further measures to ensure there were no religious implications in the concept photos in advance and we regret not being able to scrutinize it fully. We deeply apologize to those who felt uncomfortable with our actions," the label continued, adding, "We ensure you that we will make every effort to prevent a recurrence. Again, we pay and extend our sincere apologies."