Bang Si Hyuk Discusses BTS’s Social Media Education, Idol Scandals

He opened about about this and more in an interview with TIME.

Big Hit Entertainment founder Bang Si Hyuk shared new details about BTS‘s trainee days, their social media education, and more in a new interview with TIME. 


Since the beginning, social media played a key role in nurturing the relationship between BTS and their fans. Some companies do not allow trainees and/or idols to use social media freely, but that’s just one of the many things that makes Big Hit Entertainment’s “liberal trainee system” unique.


In addition to polishing his artists’ on-stage skills, Bang Si Hyuk also places importance on socialization. 

Frankly, K-pop artists, by average artists’ standards, have to show acrobatic-level skills in their performances; they must sing perfectly, and so they must be in top shape. It requires a high level of skill-based, focused training. Despite that, I always believed trainees should be well socialized.

— Bang Si Hyuk


When BTS were trainees, Big Hit Entertainment’s staff had divided opinions about whether the members should be allowed to use social media. Social media has, in some cases, led to idols’ downfalls.

When BTS members were trainees, there was a lot of internal conflict with my staff regarding social media. [they said,] “Let’s take the safe road, social media leaves traces, some of which could be harmful to them in the future.” It’s also difficult for young people to follow rules. So there was a bit of trouble there,but because I believed it was right to make mistakes and learn from them, I built a relatively liberal trainee system.”

— Bang Si Hyuk


Bang Si Hyuk explained that his company educates trainees about social media, idol life, and more, providing guidance in a mentor-mentee way. After BTS, Big Hit Entertainment changed their trainee system to become “more school-like”.

In our company, we invest a lot of time educating trainees about life as an artist, including social media. After we provide guidance, we choose to let artists be, and leave a window open for them to ask the company anything they need. I think that helped the sincerity get through to the fans. Since BTS’ success, I’ve been changing the trainee system to be more school-like, with mentorship and a coaching system, and opportunities for students to work together.

— Bang Si Hyuk


When asked about the illegal activities and controversies some K-Pop artists can (and have) become involved in, Bang Si Hyuk said that there’s no precise way to avoid scandals. Rather, he tries to provide the best environment for his artists to grow in.   

I’m not sure. The fact that I gave them a lot of freedom from trainee years and educated them on responsibility can logically explain that it has prevented scandals, but that’s consequentialism. Right now a trainee system is in some ways an educational institution. As a team, we talk a lot about how we can provide the best possible environment for these artists. But to say that we were able to avoid some sort of scandal in the K-pop industry is way too definite.

— Bang Si Hyuk


Source: TIME