Controversial Korean Webtoon Faces Intense Criticism For Its Characters Based On K-Pop Idols Like RM, Mino, And IU

This isn’t the first time idol-based webtoon characters have been criticized.

Korean netizens are voicing outrage at some of the characters featured in the popular but controversial Korean webtoon Hellper.

“Hellper Season 2” on Naver’s webtoon platform. | NamuWiki

Here are the characters “Japmon” and “Myno” reading a vulgar comic book and getting aroused…

“Japmon” (far left) and “Myno” (far right) in a scene. | Naver

Japmon: Woooow, the male lead must feel really good right now…
MynoHyung… Hurry, flip the page.

… and the 14-year-old character “Lee Ji Geum” being sexually exploited.

“Lee Ji Geum” on her knees, saying “I will answer my phone on time from now on…!”. | Naver

Netizens found these characters problematic not only because they are allegedly based on K-Pop idols like BTS‘s RM, WINNER‘s Mino, and IU — as the names suggest…

BTS’s RM (left) and WINNER’s Mino (right). | @monijunni/Twitter & @bluebird930330/Twitter

… but also because they are then portrayed in malicious ways that are “disrespectful toward the idols.”

IU, whose Instagram handle and YouTube channel name both spell out “이지금(LeeJiGeum)”. | @dlwlrma/Instagram

While netizens urge the respective agencies to take action against the webtoonist for “violating the publicity rights” of these idols…

  • “They don’t even look like the idols, but to be named that way… Did the webtoonist think readers would find this funny? He really didn’t have to do this.”
  • “If the webtoonist wants to be so violent with his characters, he should not have used names based on real people… This is nothing different from hate comments.”
  • “This is f*cking disgusting. To be associated with a webtoon like that, f*ck…”
  • “Um…? I’m sorry, I would not be surprised if the idols took this webtoonist to court.”
  • “Whoa… What is this rated? Why did the webtoonist bring idols into this when the content is this controversial…?”
  • “Get to work, YG Entertainment. Don’t let this go unresolved.”
  • “Sue this webtoonist, YG Entertainment. You have a good law firm. And you’re usually really good with taking people to court, no?”
  • “What, you mean that the person being beaten in the last scene is based on IU???”
  • “F*cking webtoonists… They only know about their own copyrights. It’s like they don’t give a single f*ck about the idols’ publicity rights though.”
  • “Oh wow, I’m f*cking furious.”

… the webtoonist, by the pen name of sakk, took to his Instagram and slapped back with a cryptic post of bloody hands that are followed by the caption, “The good will triumph over evil.”

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This is not the first time a Korean webtoonist went under fire for basing fictional characters off K-Pop idols. Another popular webtoon — now in the works of being turned into a K-Drama — True Beauty also faced massive criticism for the characters’ uncanny resemblances.

“True Beauty” character Han Seo Jun (left) and K-Pop idol Kwon Hyun Bin (right). | THEQOO

As the concept of K-Pop idols’ publicity rights — and their violation in webtoons — continue to be discussed, netizens are now directing their complaints to Naver where these works are being published. To the growing concern, Naver clarified that the platform reviews all webtoons and edits parts that are deemed too violent or inappropriate.

Naver’s webtoon service platform. | Naver

Netizens remain unimpressed by Naver’s “reviews and edits” that “allowed the publish of such disturbing content.

Source: THEQOO