SM Entertainment is a “reference book” but is often accused of plagiarism

This not only affects the prestige of the company itself, but is also detrimental to the artists.

With over 27 years since its establishment, SM Entertainment is currently one of the largest entertainment companies in Korea. This is the birthplace of many popular groups and songs, hailed by fans as the “reference book” for many other companies. However, SM still many times gets accused of plagiarism in many of its artists’ products.

SM is known as a “reference book” by fans. 

Music that sounds like TXT’s

In May 2021, NCT Dream released the song Countdown (3, 2, 1) in the album Hot Sauce. However, this song was quickly accused by many people of having the same melody as TXT’s Angel or Devil.

After that, although this incident subsided, SM made a suspicious move of adding the names of two HYBE producers, Slow Rabbit and Supreme Boi (who produced Angel or Devil) to the credits of Countdown (3, 2, 1). Many have discovered that the names of these two producers were previously completely absent from the product.

NCT-SM-Slow Rabbit-Supreme Boi
SM added Slow Rabbit and Supreme Boi to NCT’s song credits. 

Plagiarism of Louis Tomlinson

Being accused of plagiarism and then adding the producer’s name to the song is not unusual in SM. In 2018, EXO released the song Love Shot that caused a storm for netizens. However, many people discovered that the singing line that D.O performed had the melody similar to the music in the song Back To You by Louis Tomlinson (former One Direction member) and Bebe Rexha. 

When suspected of plagiarism, SM did not take any action. However, the company has secretly discussed this with the owner of the song. At the same time, the company added the name Louis Tomlinson to the place of the song writers. Despite the clever handling, SM made many netizens distrustful of rumors of plagiarism.

EXO was once involved in the US-UK star plagiarism scandal.

Taking J-Hope’s cartoon character 

Longtime K-pop fans surely are no stranger to TinyTan, the miniature characters of 7 BTS members. Accordingly, SM once attracted attention when launching the Metaverse platform. It is worth mentioning that the character representing the platform that SM chose is exactly like the cartoon character of J-Hope (BTS). This made ARMYs angry, accusing SM of imitating the idol’s image to promote the new app.

sm dear u
SM took the cartoon character of J-Hope. 
BTS J-hope
Cartoon character of J-Hope.

SNSD, Red Velvet’s clothes accused of plagiarism 

SNSD once shocked the fan community because they were accused of wearing fake versions of the Dolce & Gabbana brand. The group appeared on stage with a set of red shirts and shorts with complicated patterns. Accordingly, the shorts model is said to be very similar to the design of D&G. However, the SM stylist denied the accusation of plagiarism and said that he had never seen this costume before.

SNSD wears imitations of famous brands. 

Red Velvet has also been criticized many times for their outfits. The girls often cause controversy when wearing bad-looking clothes that drown their figure and even get accused of wearing brand imitations. At the time of the release of the song Umpah Umpah, the group attracted attention with their youthful style of stylish bright-colored gingham dresses.

Red Velvet
Red Velvet was accused of wearing imitations. 

However, after that, the SM group was suspected of wearing imitation clothes. The Paris 99 fashion brand has accused Red Velvet’s costumes of plagiarizing their designs. The fashion brand also gave enough evidence to prove that what they said was true. This huge scandal made fans extremely angry and disappointed with SM’s working style.

Red Velvet
SM then contacted the fashion brand to make an agreement. 

aespa accused of plagiarism of ideas

At the release of the SYNK DIVE teaser images to promote the song Savage, SM’s 4th Gen girl group stirred up social networks with the goddess concept. However, few people know that aespa’s image is also suspected of borrowing ideas. When seeing the masks of the four girls, netizens immediately thought of a collection of British artist James Merry. Although his products have more vibrant colors, in terms of the sophisticated designs, aespa’s masks are said to look quite similar. 

aespa-James Merry
aespa’s image makes many people think of James Merry. 

Another teaser photo of Karina also caused a stir among netizens. In the photo, her body was wrapped around by a snake skeleton and hanged in the air. However, the image is said by some to resemble the painting by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama.

aespa Karina-06032
Karina’s image was said to be a plagiarism of ideas. 
Hajime Sorayama-aespa Karina
Painting by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama. 

Despite being in the trio of the largest Korean entertainment companies, SM has made fans disappointed many times because of suspicion of plagiarism. Some netizens also criticized the company as a “reference book” but has the move of “copied books”. This not only affects the prestige of the big man, but is also detrimental to the artists.

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