LE SSERAFIM, the highly-anticipated girl group by Source Music set to debut in May 2022, released a teaser video titled “Casting Call” via the HYBE Labels YouTube channel. Showcasing the gorgeousness of the six members, the video received immediate attention from K-Pop fans around the world.
In Korea, however, the first few scenes in the video sparked some debate. While the video title, “Casting Call,” and props, like the “Audition Room” signs on the door, make the concept self-explanatory…
…Korean fans picked up on the “subtleties that give the video a weird vibe.” According to the concerned Korean fans, the idea of “having girls line up outside a door” only to have them “pose in revealing dresses” bears a stark resemblance, allegedly…
…to what happens in Korean escort bars.
- “The most problematic thing about this video is the point of view in all the scenes. I have a lot that I want to say, but I won’t. Just the fact that this video is titled ‘Casting Call’ is also questionable. I’m not criticizing the members at all. I blame it on the directors who planned and approved nonsense like this.”
- “It’s also not quite aimed at male fans, I think. As far as I know, male fans who are serious about K-Pop enough to spend the money rather prefer the pure-fresh concepts.”
- “Making the members change into outfits like that and hold poses like that in an audition room. That’s sexualization. What is [Source Music] doing to these young, gorgeous girls…?”
- “Oh, what? This is insane. Aren’t there minors [in the group]?”
- “I thought the group has minors…? What good does this concept do?”
- “I’m pissed. Like, sh*t. It’s obvious how the people who planned and approved this concept see women. The members deserve more. This is extremely disappointing.”
Regarding the actual “auditioning” scenes of the video, Korean fans argued that the “point of view here is problematic” because it often “focuses on the bodies wrapped in nothing but night slip type dresses.”
One fan cautiously commented, “[The video] isn’t even ‘teasing’ the members’ skills or personalities. It’s showing off young female bodies and to think [the agency] believes this is appealing at all is mind-boggling.”
- “Wow, out of their minds.”
- “What is this…? Aren’t we in 2022?”
- “Nothing about this is ‘sexy.’ This only reminds me of escort bars and prostitution. It’s unpleasant.”
- “I’m offended. This feels like something straight out of the porn-addicted brains of some boomer men.”
- “I don’t think this targets the male fans either because not all men like revealing outfits and concepts like this. This will work for the trolls who create slowed-down GIFs of body parts…I can’t believe this is what [Source Music] thought of doing with members who are minors and former IZ*ONE…”
- “What the—”
- “What is the problem? Who is the executive director behind this? Who approved a concept like this?”
Thousands of fans expressed deep concern about the “sexualization” and even “objectification” of the members, especially the ones who are minor.
While Source Music has not responded to the backlash, Korean fans continue to criticize the agency’s executive-level “decision makers” and creative directors for even pursuing the concept with the LE SSERAFIM members at all.
Between the potentially “problematic” video and the previous round of criticism over botched photoshopping of the group pictures, Source Music (and so, inevitably, HYBE) remains under heavy fire.
- “Seriously, though? The fact that this concept has not been stopped once throughout the production…”
- “What are they doing with members born in 2005 and 2006?”
- “Whoa, this is worse than I imagined. Even the smaller agencies have moved away from stuff like this. HYBE is obviously high on money that it’s failing to read the current trends. It’s falling behind. This is beyond ‘weird.’ This shows what [the people behind it] think about women. It’s offensive.”
- “Who would do this to minors?”
- “The members are so young and so slim, they’re literal babies. Yet [the directors] decided to dress them in skimpy slips. Just… Genius, aren’t they?”
- “HYBE has never been a good agency. They blew up over a miracle. They suck at management and they make mistakes all the time. The mistakes come from old boomers in their executive-level positions, so they don’t get fixed either. This will continue to happen [to HYBE groups]. Even the anonymous reviews from HYBE employees are all complaining about the old-fashioned management who lack communication.”
- “Considering the size, HYBE is proving to be super incompetent… The horrors keep coming, sh*t. Anyone, who has seen the latest girl group concepts, would be able to tell that concepts like this don’t work anymore. I wonder whose idea it was to begin with. Says a lot about the agency, doesn’t it?”
Read more about the members here.