A fourth-generation boy group, KINGDOM, recently came under fire for their latest album design. With the group’s concept based on various Kings in history, each member is named after a King. Each album is focused on a member. On September 19, 2023, they announced their next album, History of Kingdom: Part VII. Jahan. The member Jahan is named for Shah Jahan, the 5th Mughal Emperor.
An initial album preview was shared, shocking fans with its design which was similar to the Quran (also known as the Qur’an or Koran), the religious text of Islam.
Controversy erupted, with fans being duly upset.
On September 25, 2023, GF Entertainment shared an apology regarding the matter.
Hello. This is GF Entertainment.
There were some criticism that the cover of KINGDOM’s 7th mini album, which was originally scheduled for pre-order on September 21, bears resemblance to the Islamic scripture.
As KINGDOM is a group who’s goal is to create performances which reinterpret the world’s culture through K-Pop, its first priority is valuing cultural diversity and coexistence. This controversy took place due to our company’s lack of awareness and oversight, as the company still has much to learn.
We bow our heads in apology to Muslims and everyone who felt discomforted by the situation. We will pay better heed to detail so that such matters will not arise again in the future.
Following this, we have made the decision to dispose of all 70,000 copies of the first press and reissue them. We will be re-opening pre-orders for KINGDOM’s new album on September 26, 11am, and the official sales will begin on October 18 as planned.
We’re sorry for worrying the fans who love KINGDOM.
— GF Entertainment
This is not the first time that K-Pop entertainment companies have disrespected religion. Read about other incidents below.