The members of NewJeans have seen their fame skyrocket since debuting last year, but their upcoming comeback has been overshadowed by criticisms aimed toward their CEO about the concept of the future release.
Yet, while NewJeans has quickly risen to fame, the group hasn’t been without its controversies, especially surrounding ADOR‘s CEO Min Hee Jin. Whether it was her past or criticisms surrounding the lyrics and styling of such young idols, it was a huge talking point among netizens.
On June 26 (KST), NewJeans’ official Twitter released information ahead of the group’s comeback. In the video, with a car being seen, it was revealed that the song would be called “ETA” and had other pieces of information.
As soon as the video was released, while many fans couldn’t contain their excitement, others shared criticisms about how the concept seemingly linked to a terrorist organization.
In particular, fans pointed out that ETA was the name of a Spanish terrorist group in the Basque Country called the Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, which was active until 2018.
Firstly, the name. ETA was a terrorist spanish group based off the Basque country. idfc care if it means another thing, it's triggering here, imagine if my song was called 11 of September, you would be triggered too right? pic.twitter.com/I3lTT9R2uk
— aii 𓆩♡𓆪 seeing shinee omfg 🍓 (@devilaiish) June 26, 2023
While many fans tried to defend the claims, adding that it was obvious that the acronym stood for “Estimated Time of Arrival,” netizens dug deeper. They focused on the names shown in the trailer, which are Mikel, Maria, and Eva.
Netizens pointed out that while the names might be common within Spanish countries, it seemed odd that they were chosen as they all have connections to the ETA in some way. Even those who had no knowledge prior to the criticism couldn’t hide their shock after doing some research,
Big fan of New Jeans, but seriously Min Hee Jin!!
Just 10 mins quick search and.. Im shocked!
ETA = Spanish Terrorist Group
Mikel = Leader
Maria = Leader's Wife
Eva = A victim
Car Teaser = Their commonly used method of attack https://t.co/lNdtUFM08g
— Rythrinx (@rythrinx) June 25, 2023
see at first i thought it was just the same acronym but no all this being the same as well??? literally what the fuck is wrong with hybe and min heejin https://t.co/iT1cQ2Wc1k pic.twitter.com/yXq0YMyfft
— -poppy- (@mxxnchild_x) June 25, 2023
Many believed it was a coincidence, but even those who were skeptical that it was done with intent, believed there were too many coincidences for it not to be addressed in some way.
It wasn’t surprising that fans had mixed views, and others were wary of making such bold accusations just based on a short trailer.
Some even pointed out that even if Min Hee Jin wasn’t meant to make any connections between the comeback and the political situation, the CEO might have used it as a “Promotion” tactic.
is so obvious at this point that min heejin uses rage bait as a way to promote newjeans, is not a problem to her bc she is not the one who has to put her face on the project https://t.co/AYsKiWi49W
— Dal (@dalisbored) June 26, 2023
so when are we going to accept hybe is purposefully cooperating harmful things in newjeans comebacks bc it gets people talking about it and they know kpop stans will consume anything. pic.twitter.com/7T4hCM6kZ3
— crackcoon (@pinksgroove) June 25, 2023
Other netizens pointed out that they were in no way criticizing the members of NewJeans, but found it unfair that the lack of thought from the company impacts them negatively. They also wanted fans to understand the concerns of Spanish fans and that nothing was being done as a “Smear campaign” against the group.
nobody is accusing newjeans of anything we’re all attacking the weirdo that is min heejin you’re a weird individual pic.twitter.com/7akP1LKih7
— َ (@jangwonyoungs) June 25, 2023
It seemed as if ADOR might have caught wind of the accusations as, after the initial teaser, the NewJeans’ Instagram account posted a photo with the poster, emphasizing that ETA actually stood for “Estimated Time of Arrival.”
Yet, even after the clarification, netizens weren’t sure about the concept of the comeback.
For many netizens, it was still too much of a coincidence when everything was put together. Others pointed out that Min Hee Jin’s past meant it was hard for people not to think the worst without an official statement addressing fans’ concerns.
While many emphasize that they are not criticizing the members of NewJeans and there is no confirmation of the links, fans want the company to address people’s concerns with more than just an Instagram post.