Since it was announced that former IZ*ONE member Choi Yena‘s comeback included a single titled “Hate Rodrigo,” featuring (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi, as part of her album HATE XX, netizens expressed confusion and concern over its implications. Some wondered if it was even a diss track toward singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo.
— mars ✧ (@misamotruther) June 18, 2023
Choi Yena guested on Jonathan Thona‘s TheKstarNextDoor and clarified the song’s meaning. Rather than a “diss” toward Olivia Rodrigo, it’s actually just playful “jealousy” as the K-Pop idol admires her so much.
— YENA INTERNATIONAL (@YENA_INTL) June 28, 2023
Still, upon the release of “Hate Rodrigo,” it was met with backlash. Netizens felt the song was a “cheap marketing ploy.”
- “I think their plan failed…”
- “Hate is a stronger word than dislike in English. I think it’s completely understandable why fans would be upset.”
- “Honestly, if someone sang about hating my bias while copying all of her concepts, music, and moves, I would hate them… The song is insulting to Olivia Rodrigo and her fans, as well as an insult to the fans who have supported Choi Yena until now.”
- “The song used the hashtag #haterodrigo, so when you type in ‘Rodrigo’, the word ‘hate’ comes up… That’s a hashtag you would use when canceling someone.”
- “Does that mean we can release a song called Hate Yena because she’s pretty, and I’m jealous of her? Seriously, have some common sense… Why did they choose (the title)?…”
- “Their marketing ploy failed.”
- “I’m pretty sure everyone she worked with knew what Hate means, LOL. This is simply a marketing ploy. I bet her (Olivia Rodrigo’s) fans hate the fact that when they type her name, Yena’s song comes out.”
- “Why is her label so brainless?”
- “What is wrong with her? I’m sure she would hate it if someone released a song titled, Hate Yena.”
Despite netizens’ mixed feelings regarding “Hate Rodrigo,” many were surprised when nearly everything related to the song disappeared online. TikTok videos were taken down, especially those with the hashtag #Hate_Rodrigo instead of #HATE_U_CHALLENGE and #HATE_XX. Likewise, the music video for “Hate Rodrigo” was no longer available on YouTube, and when clicked, it just showed an error before saying it was private.
Netizens speculated what happened as all this was taken down after the official release. They reasoned it was likely due to legal reasons with Olivia Rodrigo’s team.
On June 30, 2023, Yuehua Entertainment denied that the music video was removed due to Rodrigo’s management. Instead, Yena’s company claimed that it realized that copyrights, portrait rights, and trademarks were violated.
Hello. This is Yuehua Entertainment. This is our company’s statement regarding the music video for the title song of our company artist Choi Yena’s second single album, “Hate Rodrigo.”
We realized that there were scenes in the music video that has parts which violate copyrights, portraiture rights, and trademarks, and set the music video to private on June 29. We are currently reworking the music video. We are sorry about causing confusion by realizing about the above later, and for not making a statement about it prior. We will upload the music video quickly, as soon as it is finished being edited.
In addition, it is not true that we set the music video to private due to requests from Olivia Rodrigo’s management. We have never received such requests, and we hope that there will be no more misunderstandings between the artist and fans due to unconfirmed articles. We also hope that speculations will be refrained from in the future.
We thank you for showing lots of interest and love in Choi Yena’s album, and we will repay you by taking into account the varied opinions as we show you how serious we are towards music.
— Yuehua Entertainment
Sure enough, the “Hate Rodrigo” MV reappeared, but some significant changes were made.
The beginning of the music video begins very similarly. There are still subtle references present to Rodrigo’s own music videos, particularly “deja vu.”
But as soon as viewers enter Yena’s bedroom, we see the significant edits made to “save the MV” from legal issues. Many shots that include Olivia Rodrigo posters on the walls have been either cropped or removed altogether so the images do not appear! So, while the song still mentions the singer’s name, there is no longer violation of portrait rights or copyright infringement.
Consequently, there are a lot more shots of Yena herself. This includes more choreography scenes that have made the cut as a result.
You can see even more differences between the two versions of the “Hate Rodrigo” MV below.
Additionally, it was recently announced that Choi Yena had canceled music show promotions due to health. Read more below.