Last month, CJ ENM and HYBE‘s music label BELIFT LAB came under fire for multiple reasons after netizens criticized the poor styling and editing for members of ENHYPEN.
The first issue occurred when ENHYPEN performed on SBS Inkigayo, and ENGENEs (fandom name) criticized the stylist because member Jake wore a necklace with the name “Allah” (God in Islam) in Arabic.
When the video of the performance was released, ENGENEs were shocked and disappointed when they noticed the necklace.
Knowing that Jake is not Muslim, many deemed it inappropriate to wear it as an accessory. Muslim ENGENEs especially have been educating on why this style choice was so problematic. “Allah” is a sacred word, and to wear it on a necklace, particularly for non-Muslims, is blasphemous.
Some people really comparing this situation to idols wearing cross signs… it’s not the same because the word “Allah” doesn’t translate to just “god” as most think. It’s a very sacred name that we use for the one we worship and if you’re not muslim please do not speak on this.
— Samsam ☻ (@StrayAhgase1) January 29, 2022
After this issue, fans turned their anger and disappointment to BELIFT LAB as it is known that idols do not get to choose their outfits, and it is down to the stylist. It led to the hashtag #BELIFT_APOLOGIZE trending as fans wanted an apology and statement from the company.
Recently, the topic has resurfaced after several videos of Jake have gone viral and fans started discussing the treatment of the members of the staff.
During a fan call with Jake, a fan used her time to try and discuss the topic with him. From the beginning, fans praised Jake as he seemed to be interested in hearing what the fan had to say about the topic.
Yet, when the fan started to discuss the details of the topic, the staff quickly cut the call short. Although it was pointed out that the time might have run out due to several technical difficulties, idols have been known to extend it when it comes to sensitive issues.
In particular, Jake seemed to understand what the fan wanted to talk about and wanted to listen, but he kept being cut off.
Netizens in the RTs and comments couldn’t hide their annoyance that Jake was genuinely interested in what the fan had to say but was cut off.
Later that day, Jake treated fans to a live broadcast. Unfortunately, he was subjected to a lot of harsh and hurtful comments about the issue in the live stream. As many of them were in English, Jake would’ve been able to read exactly what they said, and it was clear from his facial expressions that it impacted him.
Others even shared that they believed he found ways to apologize indirectly throughout, whether it was through the songs he played, including the track “You Said” by Connor Price.
The song includes the lyrics “Hundred times apologizing isn’t that enough? But you said it’s a little late for apologies, Would never want me back.” Many thought it was his way of saying sorry to fans in a way that wouldn’t have to go through the company.
he cant speak out about it, so he plays this song before he end the vlive. i hope everyone get his hint. jake is that man. he apologised. pic.twitter.com/mo19OFCmNf
— suchon (@1111IPEUN) February 18, 2022
When fans saw this, they showcased their anger that Jake had to read all these malicious comments because the company didn’t release a statement on the issue.
maybe the reason why jake was uncomfy doing that vlive bc an engene from the fansign informed him about the necklace incident, and he's doing that vlive with all the staffs watching his every move. maybe he wanted to clarify the issue but unable to do so bc everyone's eyeing him.
— en-diary 📝 (@1115DIARY) February 18, 2022
seeing jake being uncomfortable during his vlive, staff cutting op off is too much. belift you have one job and one group to protect. drop the apology we all been asking for. let jake speak if he wants to. they don’t deserve this. jake doesn’t deserve this. #BELIFT_APOLOGIZE
— ely (@hoonieluvvr) February 18, 2022
Netizens have voiced that the lack of consideration towards the issue negatively impacts the members and their mental health, showcasing what many deemed “mistreatment.” As of yet, BELIFT LABS has still not released a statement on the issue.
You can read all about the issue below.