NewJeans Sparks New Controversy Related to K-pop Sexualization; Girl Group’s Agency Responds

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NewJeans has kept on receiving criticisms in the past months since its debut.

In July, ADOR introduced its five trainees who made it to the HYBE's Plus Global Audition in 2019. Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein immediately turned people’s heads with its debut music video for Attention and its first EP, New Jeans.

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Although it is already new in the industry, the group has been subject to criticism due to different reasons.

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NewJeans’ Cookie Stirs Condemnation

Korea JoongAng Daily recently quoted people’s comments on the music video for NewJeans’ cookie, with internet users condemning the group due to the song’s sexual connotations.

The top comments on the video said that the lyrics of the song were disturbing enough, especially since the group’s members are only between 14 to 18 years old. They are all considered underage in South Korea.

People said that the company should have given them an age-appropriate song. Others noted that having them wear school uniforms made it more uncomfortable.

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In addition, they claimed that the word cookie in the lyrics refers to female genitalia.

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Following the emergence of the comments, ADOR dismissed the claims and said that the word is not used as sexual slang. Instead, the lyrics are actually compared to baking cookies and burning CDs.

In its statement (via The Korea Times), the company explained that the interpretations differ depending on people’s experiences.

"We tried to reveal the members' naturalness and freshness with its debut album, which offers four tracks: 'Attention,' 'Hype Boy,' 'Hurt' and 'Cookie.' We hope you banish all unnecessary doubts and see good intentions behind our content,” it went on.

NewJeans Has Been Controversial Since Debut

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It was not the first time the company and the group were accused of sexualizing the minor members. Soon after its debut, fans noticed that the members were being dressed provocatively.

The creative director, Min Hee Jin, was also bombarded with accusations that she had been glamorizing pedophilia. She posted a photo of a blonde girl without a top on Instagram.

It turned out that the young woman was part of a foreign movie about a mentally retarded girl who got married to a man. He soon abused her sexually before divorcing her.

NewJeans’ fans immediately showed their dismay over the concept, but she later tagged the allegations absurd.

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