When anything is happening in the K-Pop industry, Twitter is often the place that fans go to in order to find out information and share their own opinions on the matter. Because of this, hashtags often become widely trended when something particularly shocking or controversial is occurring, spreading the news quickly.
Here are 10 of the most popular K-Pop-related hashtags from 2021, most of which were caused by scandals, but there were a couple positive ones as well!
Late in 2020, EXO‘s Chanyeol was accused by an ex-girlfriend of three years to have cheated on her with multiple other women. The allegations rocked the industry, and the hashtags #ParkChanyeol_NoMore_Silence and #ParkChanyeol_Come_Out_And_Talk (or rather, the Hangul translation of the phrase, #박찬열_나와서_얘기해) began spreading wildly on Twitter in February 2021 to encourage the idol to speak his side of the story.
— 오늘따라 왜 이렇게 보고 싶은지 (@sebongkyoongie) February 3, 2021
While the initial response from fans was mostly in support of Chanyeol, when he remained silent on the accusations for some time (and with SM Entertainment‘s simple response saying that they had no stance on the issue), the hashtags came from fans who were getting frustrated with his silence.
February 2021 continued on a rough note when then-(G)I-DLE member Soojin was accused of bullying a friend from high school for years. Additionally, actress Seo Shin Ae accused her of the same. In order to combat these allegations, Soojin and Cube Entertainment took a legal stance in order to defend the idol, and fans of the group began the hashtag #APOLOGIZETOSOOJIN to show their support.
instead of denying everything, soojin owned up to what she did while also debunking what she didn’t do. THAT is how you take responsibility for your actions while also proving your innocence. #ApologizeToSoojin pic.twitter.com/ayI0SN0HTU
— idle pics ⁶⁻¹⁼⁰ (@idlepics) February 22, 2021
Unfortunately, as most K-Pop fans should know, Soojin still ended up leaving (G)I-DLE in order to not negatively impact their reputation, something that many are still upset with to this day.
Fortunately there were some positive trends that became popular on Twitter in 2021! The hashtag #LightItUpBTS hit over 2 million tweets an hour before they were set to make an appearance at the Grammys, after fans around the world had planned to get the K-Pop group trending even more than the awards show itself!
— จจ|rest| (@JeedjardG) March 15, 2021
Fans felt that BTS has been used by the western music industry for clout in the past, and this was their way of showing just how much love and care ARMYs have for the group!
In June of 2021, fans of Stray Kids began trending #WhereIsHyunjin after the member of the group had been absent from their activities and promotions for four months. He had been accused of bullying by two former schoolmates in February and March, which led to JYP Entertainment denying the accusations and taking legal actions against the alleged victims. Even so, Hyunjin also released a personal apology towards those who spoke against him and took a hiatus from Stray Kids.
#WhereIsHyunjin is currently trending at #2 worldwide with over 272k tweets. It’s also trending in 10 other countries: Russia, Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Spain & Saudi Arabia
— Hyunjin 현진 Central (@HHJCentral) June 10, 2021
Fans continued to show their support of Hyunjin during his hiatus, but when JYP Entertainment failed to update them on the idol’s condition during this time, this hashtag began trending in order to demand a response from the company to know how Hyunjin was doing. Fortunately, it was only later that month when he made an appearance in the group’s music video for “Mixtape: OH”!
Also during the summer of 2021, all was not well for fans of BLACKPINK when the hashtag #BLACKPINKdisband began appearing on their timelines. The group, of course, was not disbanding, and the trend came from an ongoing fan war between BLINKs and ARMYs, where the “fans” of BLACKPINK made harassing comments and accusations against BTS.
— ssssss (@chaesoologist) October 13, 2021
Due to this distasteful behavior, ARMYs and other K-Pop fans alike began the trend #BLACKPINKdisband (as well as #BlinksApologizeToBTS) in order to fire back at the so-called BLINKs who had been attacking BTS.
Closer to the end of summer, now-Kep1er member Bahiyyih became the target of a hateful campaign on Twitter in order to get her removed from Girls Planet 999. She didn’t do anything controversial or scandalous; people simply didn’t like her visuals and thought she was riding on the popularity of her brother, TXT‘s Hueningkai, in order to become an idol.
— goeunsevngh (@LimYura4) November 6, 2021
Of course, despite these attempts to tear her down, Bahiyyih ended up placing second on the competition show and ended up as a member of Kep1er!
A little while later in the year, NCT and SuperM member Lucas found himself caught in accusations of being a cheater and a gold digger. Initially fans didn’t believe the rumors and supported the seemingly humble and sweet idol, growing evidence against him from alleged former girlfriends began to sway public opinion. Because of this, the hashtag #Lucas_Out started to trend on social media to have him removed from his K-Pop groups.
— tia ❤️ (@shizunalbedo) November 22, 2021
He quickly went on hiatus despite some upcoming projects, and as of this article’s writing, Lucas’s future in the K-Pop industry is still unknown, as he didn’t appear on NCT’s Universe album.
BTS fans thankfully came in to save the day again with another positive trend during the year! After the K-Pop group gave a speech at the 2021 United Nations General Assembly and performed “Permission To Dance” in front of the U.N. Headquarters, ARMYs were able to get the hashtag #GotARMYRightBehindYou trending for the whole day!
— Viony⁷ 🗯️ STAY ALIVE (@lilmatchboi) November 24, 2021
There ended up being a record number of engagements worldwide because of this event, showing just how huge of an impact BTS has on a global scale!
October saw BLACKPINK members trending again with the hashtag #YGLetLisaDoHerWork beginning to spread on Twitter. Fans believed that Lisa was being exempt from attending fashion events while the other members of the group were seen at them, leading to many upset BLINKs.
— Xoài Úc (@u96220040) October 12, 2021
The CEO of BVLGARI made a post on Instagram explaining that though Lisa was in Paris for an event, YG Entertainment was not allowing her to participate due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, the year ended with a final trending hashtag for BTS member J-Hope. Though fans were ecstatic to see the K-Pop group in person for the Permission To Dance concert, when they realized that J-Hope only had 4 minutes and 44 seconds of lines in the entire 3-hour-long show, they became understandably upset, and got the hashtag #WeWantMoreJHope spreading quickly on social media.
— midnight boi (@midnightdrive8) November 28, 2021
Though it likely wasn’t intentional that J-Hope has such few lines in the show, and fans knew the members likely wouldn’t be happy about the hashtag, that didn’t stop ARMYs from trying to get justice for their beloved sunshine.