May 11, 2022

FirstOne Entertainment’s Pre-Debut Group NINE.i Under Fire For Insensitive Use Of Historical Footage Soompi

Weeks before their debut, FirstOne Entertainment’s new boy group NINE.i are already finding themselves in trouble. The group and the company are criticized for their callous use of historical events.

The 10-member K-Pop group is set to debut on March 30. However, the preparation for the big day was full of stumbles for the pre-debut group.

[#mine] !! 필름 필름 되었습니다 되었습니다 되었습니다 되었습니다 평 평 ╭┈┈┈┈╯ ╭┈┈┈┈╯ ╰┳┳╯ ╰┳┳╯ 아 아 ╰┈┈╯ ╰┈┈╯ ━━━━╮ ━━━━╮ 해┈┈┈┈이라#NINEi #THE_BIRTH_OF_NEW_ALGORITHM https://t.co/JWQI3ZObuf


NINE.i’s teaser clips are criticized

Ahead of their impending debut, NINE.i is releasing a series of teasers for their debut single. On March 9, the group shared a video on their YouTube channel titled PROLOGUE FILM [THE BIRTH OF NEW ALGORITHM]. The five-minute clip is meant to give fans a taste of what the group’s concept will be.

Although the intentions seem harmless, the video has been the target of many negative comments from K-pop fans around the world. This is due to graphic imagery.

In the clip, NINE.i uses images and clips related to several significant historical events, including black oppression, the Holocaust, and the American Civil War.

Among the many clips used are excerpts from rallies of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The YouTube video also contains several disturbing scenes from concentration camps in Nazi Germany.

literally so disrespectful, using black history and trauma for aesthetics🤨 for some views???? Crazy. #NINEi I am so disgusted. https://t.co/9U4RPfdUkB

It didn’t take long for opposition to mount against the music video and FirstOne Entertainment. In addition to criticizing them on Twitter and Instagram, netizens posted their disapproval of the video on TikTok, one of which has been viewed more than 630,000 times.

Delete this video now. It’s rude and very disrespectful to black people #NINEi https://t.co/xsu5LeKNL5

tw // traumatic historical events so i came across a video on tiktok about a group called nine.i whose first concept film has a photo depiction of discrimination, civil rights and the holocaust. I didn’t believe it at first, but I checked it out myself and was too dumbfounded. https://t.co/qmhxFNsBDR

One of the main areas of concern was the obvious lack of understanding of the historical and cultural trauma associated with the clips. Several netizens were shocked to see how the video was passed on by the agency and the group without any changes.

Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)
Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)
Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)
Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)
Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)
Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)
Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)
Video reactions (Image via NINE.i OFFICIAL/YouTube)

The use of trauma as an aesthetic device has also been denounced.

there’s no way premieres won’t know the backlash they’re getting for the first nine.i trailer…they loved and hated that comment; they clearly look at yt comments and definitely see those who call them out for their insensitivity 🧍‍♀️ https://t.co/MFCFmVB2Hk

Shortly after the aggressive rejection, FirstOne Entertainment released another version of the video, with the questionable elements exorcised.

NINE.i’s agency also issued an official apology in Korean and English, stating:

“We are very aware that we did not engage with more consideration when making the video.”

Here is the full apology:

NINE.i(나인아이) PROLOGUE FILM [THE BIRTH OF NEW ALGORITHM] 관련 입장문NOTICE about NINE.i (나인아이) PROLOGUE FILM [THE BIRTH OF NEW ALGORITHM] https://t.co/uQpNKCS1qQ

Meanwhile, the ten members of the group continue to prepare for their debut. Their name is a play on the phrase “EVERYDAY NEW i”.


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