BigBang (band)

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Kpop group
Group name(s)BIGBANG, BigBang, 빅뱅
MembersG-Dragon, Taeyang, and Daesung. Past members - Seungri and T.O.P
Fandom name(s)V.I.P, VIP
Fandom symbol(s)
    No official colour.
    Black and white handkerchiefs (in lieu of balloons)
CompanyYG Entertainment
Related articles on Fanlore.

BIGBANG (빅뱅) is a South Korean hip-hop boyband under YG Entertainment. The group consists of three members: G-Dragon, Taeyang, and Daesung. Originally a five-piece band, Seungri retired from the entertainment industry in March 2019 after his scandal[1] and T.O.P left the band in May 2023.

Known as the "Kings of K-pop", they helped spread the Korean Wave internationally and are considered one of the most influential acts in K-pop.[2][3]

G-Dragon and Taeyang were the first ones to receive training under YG Entertainment at the age of eleven and were originally supposed to debut as a duo. After G-Dragon was approached by YG Entertainment for possible candidates to start a boy group, G-Dragon contacted T.O.P, his childhood friend, leading to the latter to audition. At the time, T.O.P was an underground rapper under the stage name "Tempo".[4] The original lineup consisted of six members: the aforementioned ones along with Daesung and Hyun-seung, who were both auditioned in. Their formation was documented on television which is called BigBang Documentary; prior to their official debut, Hyun-seung who would later debut in Beast was dropped.[5]

BigBang held their official debut on August 19, 2006.[6] A year after their debut, BIGBANG released the single title "Lies" in August 2007 which skyrocketed in the music charts locally. What made this song special is that the members, especially G-Dragon, started to be more hands-on in music production. The success continued as they won “Best Male Group” and “Song of the Year” at the 2007 "Mnet Asian Music Awards". With this breakthrough, BIGBANG finally found the musical identity that made them hit song makers all throughout their careers. After promotions in Japan they released the lead single of their third EP called "Haru Haru" which topped all the charts further cementing their success. After their break in early 2009, they reunited to collaborate with 2NE1, their label's new girl group who had been dubbed as "The Female BigBang" at the time, for "Lollipop". There is also the song "Fantastic Baby" that helped break BIGBANG into the international market in 2012. That same year, they were able to hold their first-ever world tour in 21 cities and 13 countries. After 3 years of mostly solo projects and activities, BIGBANG came back as a group in 2015 releasing the M.A.D.E. album. The most notable song is the successful song "Bang Bang Bang", but basically every song of the album gained wide regonition which is why this album is especially beloved by fans. Throughout the years, the band has released albums in both Korean and Japanese next to having very successful solo projects and sub units. Taeyang released songs like "Eyes, Nose, Lips", "Ringa Linga" and "VIBE (feat. Jimin of BTS)", G-Dragon released songs like "Heartbreaker", "Crayon", "Crooked" and "Bullshit". T.O.P released songs like "DOOM DADA". Daesung released songs as D-LITE in Japan like "ナルバキスン (Look at me, Gwisun)". The band also formed the sub units GD & T.O.P and GD X TAEYANG. In 2022 they dropped "Still Life" with no promotion which was hugely successful.


The official name for BIGBANG fans is V.I.P often also stylized as VIP. The name comes from the song "V.I.P.", from BIGBANG's second single album, BIGBANG is V.I.P. There isn’t an official color, but V.I.Ps use either their infamous yellow crown lightsticks called Bangbong which was designed by G-Dragon himself because he wanted his fans in the crowd to stand out like true VIPs or black and white handkerchiefs (in lieu of balloons).

Fan stance towards group

V.I.Ps love to boast about how chill they are towards the band.

For example, Taeyang got married to actress Min Hyo-rin on February 3, 2018.[7] The couple gave birth to their first child in 2021. While EXO's Chen or Super Junior's Sungmin received a lot of hate for revealing their marriages V.I.Ps were quite happy for the couple and the overall reaction was very positive.[8] YG Entertainment's response to the first dating rumors 5 years prior to the marriage was also very chill which likely influenced the fandom as well. YG stated: "Taeyang cannot be contacted as of now. But if the dating news is true, then we will congratulate him." The CEO commented that he was very happy that Taeyang finally got a girlfriend. To this day fans think it's hilarious and frankly legendary.[9][10]

The difference between the reaction of the fans probably also stems from the fact that Big Bang had a lot of scandals and a “bad boy” image. They talked about relationships, dating and other typically taboo idol topics regularly, portraying themselves as sexually active and really never fed heavily into the "I'm your pretend boyfriend" concept. Unlike many other K-pop groups, they didn't act innocently and didn't try to sell the "boyfriend image".[11] While the other members seemed to have dated a lot there was a bit of a joke about how Taeyang was always single and didn't have any experience (his first kiss being on the set of a music video), which meant that a lot of people were especially happy for him. By the time of the marriage Big Bang was an established group. On top of that, Taeyang didn’t have the same overly-possessive fans that G-Dragon had and Min Hyorin was a well-liked Korean actress. Since VIPs knew about Taeyang’s relationship as he was publicly dating Min Hyorin for 5 years before they got married, the situation is entirely different of those other "scandals". As a result some V.I.Ps love to claim that they don't have a skewed relationship with their band and are the most loyal fandom in the K-pop community.

However, after the scandal of Seungri there were and are a lot of fights within the fandom making the fandom not as "chill" as it used to be (even though V.I.Ps were never as chill towards other fandoms).[12] Most V.I.Ps seem to agree that Seungri is not someone who is supportable anymore after the crimes he commited and supported and would love to erase him from the bands history. They were very hurt by the whole situation as they looked up to Seungri before that. He ruined the image of the band. A minority still loves him though which frustrates the rest of the fandom a lot. This causes fanwars between the OT4 and OT5 fans.[13] Many were never able to reconcile just how many fans remain passionately defending him.[14] Some fans go even as far as claiming that OT5 fans ruin the fandom as ""fans" who are willing to overlook the amount of abuse this man allowed to happen are just sick".[15] OT4s think that the problem is probably that most of the charges Seungri has been accused of were dropped which vindicates the Seungri stans. They can live in their denial and delusion some even going as far as claiming that Seungri was a victim either of circumstances or of being framed and that it is a witch hunt. Others claim that it comes from a "I can save him" mentality. Maybe it also stems from the fact that the band has had a lot of scandals before that. All of the non-OT5 fans agree though that it is quite sad to see that he still has supporters, especially since Seungri retired from the entertainment industry and there literally is nothing to save or support. As a result a lot of fans also started to avoid V.I.P spaces and especially V.I.P twitter. The band seems to lose a lot of fans because of this while also being not attractive to newer fans as the fanbase has become a somewhat inhospitable place to be. Those passionate fans of Seungri and the whole scandal cast a huge shadow over the band. Some also claim that the OT5 fans ruin fandom projects.[16]

Some of the more casual fans are also discussing whether you can still support the rest of the band with their respective scandals as all of the scandals of the band except for Taeyang's are quite heavy, but fans tend to be very forgiving when it comes to the rest of the members. The band pre-dates cancel culture which could be the reason why it is hard to cancel them. Others say that it's probaby also nostalgia. Most casual international fans seem to have a problem with either G-Dragon (mostly with the animal abuse scandal) or Daesung (both scandals),[17] while Korean casual fans primarily hate T.O.P (drug scandal, he even does his IG lives in English because of that). In general, BIGBANG also seems to be less hated in South Korea than internationally. They have the largest fanbase in South Korea. The rest of the members seem to polarize the general public in South Korea as in "they are shitty people but legendary". Their controversial past issues brought down their image as a group, but they have been controversial their entire career. The rest of the members will always create some kind of hype in South Korea.[18] G-Dragon is still arguably the most influential idol in korea when it comes to fashion, trends and art. It seems to not have affected the members (except for Seungri) much. "Still Life" was dropped in 2022 with no promotion and it charted at #1 in Korea for weeks. People in South Korea still love their songs and idols still hold a lot of respect for them. BTS and Blackpink members still collaborate and associate themselves with GD and Taeyang. Internationally their reputation seems more damaged though.

Most V.I.Ps are waiting for a comeback as the band promised them one even though most know that it is wishful thinking. Some fans though claim that this promise was fulfilled by releasing "Still Life" in 2022, also stating that the "vibes are off" for a comeback ever since the hiatus, their cancelled Coachella performance and all the scandals. Most fans think that T.O.P has been ready to leave for a long time and that he is done with being an idol and the industry. He wants to start anew. The Burning Sun scandal sped up the process or rather was the final nail in the coffin, but fans thought for longer that T.O.P was feeling disconnected from the band.[19] Even G-Dragon left the company which destroyed a lot of hopes for comebacks, but fans are glad that he left as they felt that YG Entertainment didn't protect him enough and that the company doesn't "deserve" him. Fans think the band is ready for a new chapter as a whole. T.O.P was according to fans likely traumatized by his scandal which is why he announced that he doesn't want to promote in South Korea anymore.[20] Instead it is said that T.O.P is going to space[21] in a couple years[22] and starring in Squid Game 2.[23]


BIGBANG has actually been known to be a group that dislikes hardcore shipping, especially T.O.P, Taeyang and G-Dragon. While Taeyang tweeted about "Double dragon" and "GDYB", he meant it in a brotherly way as they mean "units" or "collaborations". Apparently, they were disgusted when they found out that the couple names fans were calling them were meant in a sexual way. Despite that T.O.P/G-Dragon has always been a popular ship among fans[24] and still is to this day followed by Taeyang/G-Dragon and most fanfiction is slash. He also got shipped a lot with Seungri which kind of died down after Seungri's scandal. There is also a lot of het fic pairing the guys with members of 2NE1 or other popular idols. G-Dragon used to get shipped with Dara of 2NE1 a lot, it was his most famous ship out of all of them including his slash pairings, especially because there were a lot of moments which could suggest a relationship according to fans[25][26] (tagged with "daragon" on Asianfanfics and consistently being voted as famous often being the only het pairing[27]), but his ships with CL of 2NE1 and IU were also quite famous. G-Dragon seems to be the most "shippable". T.O.P got mostly shipped with Bom of 2NE1 as both of them were famous for their "8D personalities", the rest of the members also had various ships with 2NE1.

The most famous ships of BIGBANG are popular to this day among K-pop fans. In 2020, G-Dragon/IU was ranked #13, G-Dragon/CL was ranked #15, G-Dragon/T.O.P was ranked #20 and G-Dragon/Dara was ranked #25 on a "The 100 Most Favorite KPOP Ship Couples 2020" poll by kingchoice with 10,199,277 votes.[28] In 2022, G-Dragon/Dara ranked even higher at #11 while the poll had 7,789,551 votes.[29] In 2024, G-Dragon/T.O.P was ranked #22, G-Dragon/IU #64 and G-Dragon/Dara #66 on the poll with 2,746,268 votes (these are the three ships which basically always make the list).[30]

There were also some quite random ships as the band was always quite carefree in their interactions with other groups, for example Seungri with EXO's Sehun after he sat on his lap at their 2015 MAMA performance[31] (even though that quickly died down after Seungri's scandal).


In their prime they were known as Kings of K-pop[32][33] (G-Dragon himself was also known as King of K-pop on his own)[34] and to this day they are regarded as legendary. BIGBANG influenced the K-pop landscape a lot by setting trends and making a lot of things very popular setting standards for years to come. Fans also love to claim that everything they did and made popular was them being the first to do it[35] even though most of the time they weren't, but you can't argue that they definitely set a lot of trends and made a lot of things cool. They fought the previously set standards by being outspoken and shocking to the general public.

  • Writing and producing their own music[36] - Seo Taiji and Boys, H.O.T. and BoA did it before them. However, when you think of an idol group who has been maintaining tight control of their music since the beginning, BIGBANG definitely would come to mind as they were the first and most known for it and definitely influenced newer groups to do the same. They were rather famous for it. While other idol groups were accused of being "manufactured" and "artificial", singing and performing songs taught to them by their managers, this couldn't be said of Big Bang and fans were quick to call everyone out who tried.[37] G-Dragon is widely known to be the main songwriter and producer of the group, penning all of the group's major hits. The Korea Times has called him a "genius singer-songwriter". In 2008, G-Dragon became the youngest person to be listed on The 10 Greatest Korean Composers at the age of 20. As of July 2022, the Korea Music Copyright Association has 175 songs listed under his name. They really started the trend of idols being self-producing.
  • Having a rapline - H.O.T. debuted in 1996 and also had a rapline. However, BIGBANG was widely regarded as having the best rapline at that time (the other contender being Block B). The rapper duo was highly regarded for their rap skills and contributions to the group's music having ascended from the term "idol rapper". Before them a rapper in a group was just someone who can't sing which is the reason why idol rappers weren't considered true rappers. Fans claimed that the individual and collective talents of Big Bang members are just so obvious that it is impossible to fit them into the usual "idol group mold".
  • Having an underground rapper turned idol - Miryo from Brown Eyed Girls used to be an underground rapper and debuted before BIGBANG in March 2006 making T.O.P (underground name T.E.M.P.O) at most a close second.
  • Going on a world tour - JYJ (former TVXQ members) completed their world tour "2011 JYJ World Tour" in 2011.[38] BIGBANG's world tour "Alive Galaxy Tour" (referred to as Alive Tour) was held from 2012 until 2013 which doesn't make them the first to do it, but they definitely showed everyone how successful a world tour can be.
  • Dyeing their hair in bright colors - Seo Taiji and Boys in 1995[39] and Moon Heejun of H.O.T.[40] dyed their hair as well back in the days. Moon Heejun stated that idols can change their hair color into all of the colors they want because of his fight for more openess towards that topic as he was once banned from TV for one year due to his dyed hair. S.E.S couldn't promote their third comeback on music broadcasts because they dyed their hair blonde, but the public loved the new concept calling them trendsetters.[41] However, it was G-Dragon who made it really cool. He started massively dyeing his hair in a variety of bright colors culture. He was known as the Iguana Idol. Previously, it was not that popular. Of course, there were cases where the idols dyed their hair but mostly it was just brightening. He did a lot of unusual colors to the point where people said that there is no color he hasn't tried. Their unique stage fashion and hairstyles have always been highlighted. Fuse TV noted that "their outfits are almost as entertaining as their performances."
  • Winning a western award - In 2011 BIGBANG became the first K-pop group to set foot on a western award stage for the 2011 "MTV European Music Awards". The group won "Best Worldwide Act", making them the first K-pop group to win an MTV award outside of Asia.[42]
  • Being formed by a survival show - There was Akdong Club who were formed by a reality survival show that aired in 2002.[43] However, as Akdong Club is mostly forgotten nowadays, BIGBANG are said to be the first K-pop group formed through a survival program “BIGBANG The Beginning” and it was also BIGBANG that made the idea popular.
  • Having solo careers without disbanding the group - Shinhwa were the first using the "separate yet together" strategy. In the past, solo activities outside of group promotions were rejected. However, in 2003, Shinhwa’s Lee Minwoo was the first to release his solo album.[44] BIGBANG made this very popular as all of them had very successful solo careers and even tours proving to everyone that you don't have to leave or disband just to be able to have a stable solo career. They also started very early on in the career of the band with their solo promotions which was also unusual at the time.
  • Collaborating with western artists, their first collaboration being G-Dragon with Flo Rida in 2009. However, in 2004 Snoop Dogg and Warren G had already collaborated with Jinusean on their track "2 All My People". While they weren't the first, they were some of the first few idols to be present in the west having more collaborations in the following years and making it a popular thing to do.
  • Promoting mini albums: "Always" (2007) was the first release in Korean's music industry to be promoted as a "mini-album". After BIGBANG, many K-pop groups started to release mini album (EP) series.
  • Having personalized lightsticks: They were indeed the first group to do and have personalized lightsticks. Lightsticks at concerts have always existed, but personalized lightsticks that represent a group did indeed begin with BIGBANG. G-Dragon was also the first idol to design the lightstick himself.
  • G-Dragon is the first and only solo artist to receive the Mnet Asian Music Award for Artist of the Year in 2013.
  • Havin an edgy (hip hop mixed with "cool/bad boy") concept - Artists like Seo Taiji, and, later, H.O.T. were at the forefront of Korea's "rap dance" scene in the mid-to-late '90s.[45] By the second generation of K-pop, which roughly begins in 2003, the days of "rap dance" had fizzled out in favor of a distinct K-pop sound with a boyfriend concept. BIGBANG made hip hop popular again. They elaborated on the hip hop of early K-pop while putting their own style into it and promoting it with their amazing stage presence. They are seen as the pioneers of the edgy concept. Hip hop’s presence in the genre remains in the form of creating a designated rapper in each idol group. The group is largely credited for reinventing K-Pop music through their use of innovative electronic influences in hip-hop and R&B back in 2007. When others were afraid of using technology, Big Bang used it unashamedly.
  • Airport fashion - today, it is a moving force of fashion trends in South Korea as it's one of the few times where we can usually see idols in their own "personal" clothes and styling themselves (though they do sometimes do have stylists that also help with this). The origin of this trend is none other than G-Dragon alongside Jessica Jung of Girls' Generation.[46] He was choosing fashion statement pieces which caught the eye of the paparazzi and reporters at the airport. His fashion style became more and more recognized among netizens which made people really excited about his airport pictures. Wearing special outfits and accessories to the airport was a concept first created by G-Dragon, and later adopted by most Kpop idols and Korean artists generally.
  • G-Dragon was the first Korean Idol to be invited to Paris Fashion Week's front rows as he was and still is one of Asia's biggest fashion moguls, according to Vogue.[47]
  • Breaking gender roles: From being the first male idol to endorse red lipstick, to casually painting his nails, posing in photoshoot as gender neutral or even wearing female clothing items like skirts, not only to events and performances but even in his daily appearances.
  • International collaborations with big foreign brands: Chanel, Givenchy, Nike and many more consider G-Dragon as a global ambassador. Late Karl Lagerfeld considered him as a muse at a time where collaborations with Asian celebrities weren't common.[48]

G-Dragon was like Beyoncé back in the day. He was a public icon. His mere presence would send media and fans into a craze. He was appealing to a huge variety of poeple, and on top of his identity as a musician he was also seen as a huge fashion icon and a well-known TV/public personality.

Their live performances were also seen as legendary as they were not following the standard K-pop formula by lacking an emphasis on choreo and having the greater emphasis on stage presence and live mics making them exciting to watch for fans. Therefore, they received a lot of respect and people started calling them "real artists" instead of idols.

BIGBANG is responsible for more than half of all albums sold by the YG Entertainment in South Korea from 2014 to 2017, before their hiatus due to military enlistment. They were the first Korean mainstream hip hop idols, credited for helping popularize the genre throughout Asia as one of the driving forces behind the Hallyu Wave. They set several records and received worldwide recognition while influencing a lot of younger idols to become idols. They are noted as inspirations to numerous idols. Despite that, fans allege that YG Entertainment has not done anything to promote BIGBANG nor protect their image. Half their fandom was also male which was also very unusual for boygroups as males felt less "embarassed" to be their fans.[49]

Relationship with other fandoms

The fandom was especially in its early days decidedly not chill towards other fandoms, other fandoms called it a "superiority complex" ("Cassiopeia and VIPs were the scary ones at the time"). According to other fandoms: V.I.Ps used to bring everyone down and put the band on this huge pedastal claiming that BIGBANG are the only "real artists" having achieved something "above K-pop" not being idols anymore but real artists while other K-pop bands were exactly that - K-pop idols. They were the best in everything and trendsetters. V.I.Ps used to bully a lot of other fandoms who somehow came in contact with them. They would claim that BigBang were the originators of everything, they would brag about how BIGBANG was the biggest artist and were the most talented and that they would stay as "Kings" on top forever. Apparently, you can still see some of them in Youtube comment sections "I can't get into new groups because BIGBANG set the bar to high"; "they weren't focused on dances they have that YG swag" and "no other artist can hype up the crowd like them". This era of the fandom is often compared to Armys, as both fandoms used to act and sometimes act quite similar claiming that their group is the originator and that every other group is trying to copy them and be like them.[50][51] Nowadays, the fandom seems to be more chill though, especially since group was inactive for quite a while, while other fandoms seem to think of the fandom as more chill these days.


V.I.Ps got and sometimes still get into a lot of fanwars.

V.I.Ps used to love being part of the "YG family" with "papa YG" on top even though they also used to have a lot of fights with other fandoms of YG groups. They really bought into the marketing strategy of YG in the early 2010s. At that time, to K-pop fans it seemed like YG Entertainment wa the best company out of the Big 3 or even all of the K-pop companies. The company was praised for giving idols the chance to produce their own music making the quality really high and for not overworking the idols (which is something fans nowadays like to criticize calling it "keeping the idols in the dungeon" without comebacks). A lot of V.I.Ps also thought that G-Dragon would take over the CEO spot of YG Entertainment one day or at least become someone like Teddy to the company as BIGBANG was the band that helped building the company. G-Dragon was a vital part of YG's image and built their brand. Nowadays, the company is one of the most hated companies being called shady and "papa YG" is arguably even more hated than Seungri. Fans of YG groups also seem to either despise other groups in YG or stan all of the groups of YG while having a conflicted relationship with the company itself (people like the image of their groups and the sound as it remains consistent throughout all of their groups, but hate the man behind the company and the main executives for the current state of the company as they were rather closely related to the Burning Sun Scandal and are letting all of their legendary artists leave) This used to lead to a lot of tensions between the fandoms. Blinks (fans of Blackpink) and V.I.Ps build up a lot of tension and passive-aggressiveness which culminated into Blinks accusing G-Dragon of grooming Jennie when the dating rumors of the two broke out.[52] Similar to this, V.I.Ps also sometimes clashed with the fans of 2NE1 called Blackjacks. For example Daralings (fans of Dara) and some V.I.Ps got into a mini fanwar after a video with a snippet of another episode where she's gonna talk about the customized shoes he gave her and why he gave her a customized one was released. Some VIPs claimed that, Dara painted the shoes on her own and she was not part of his 88 F&F list. They called her names. The two fandoms kept on talking about it because there were several days before the episode from the snippet, where she actually talked about the shoes was released. For four days, they were just on a fanwar. It was constantly talked about and a VIP used Ben Baller's (he is their mutual friend) reply to a tweet asking Dara where she got the shoes, he replied, "She found it in the ramen" to debunk the claims that Dara was on the F&F list. Ben Baller had to comment in the issue because it was already getting petty.[53]

In 2015 V.I.Ps got into fanwars with fans of two of SM Entertainment's groups.[54] ELFs (fans of Super Junior) and V.I.Ps remained mostly civil for the longest time even thought the groups were compared a lot until things started to get a little crazy when 2015 MAMA rolled around. Both groups were up for "Album of the Year" and "Best Male Group" when netizens once again sparked the debate of who was the better group. Things got heated and it wasn’t until after the award show that things died down. It’s funny because the fandoms seem to have mutual respect nowadays. EXO-Ls (fans of EXO) and V.I.Ps started off as a pretty friendly rivalry, but that took a turn when EXO's "Love Me Right" and BIGBANG's "Loser" were put up against each other on M! Countdown and on Inkigayo. Accusations started to fly that Mnet was favoring one group over the other and, if they weren’t, that fans must be cheating which Mnet tried to prevent, but failed to do so. The fight continued until one EXO fan posted a video of herself burning a picture of BIGBANG's Taeyang with EXO's "Mama" playing in the background. Another EXO-L, who appeared to be Filipino, made threats to bomb a Big Bang concert that will be taking place soon in the Philippines.[55] Other EXO-Ls were shocked at the post and expressed their outrage over their actions.[56] One year later EXO-Ls accused V.I.Ps again of rigging the votes on Gaon Charts which seemed to be true.[57] Interestingly they didn't clash a lot with SONEs (fans of Girls' Generation)[58] and were decently friendly with Shawols (fans of SHINee).

There were also a lot of fanwars between V.I.Ps and Army which is funny because BTS was inspired and heavily influenced by BIGBANG which was pretty easy to see in their early days (The parallels between BTS and BIGBANG are quite funny). Both fandoms got compared a lot as well as Armys tended to act a lot like V.I.Ps in their early years (other fandoms claimed that they are mirror images of one another both having a superiority complex).[59][60][61] V.I.Ps blamed BTS for copying the setup and concept from T.O.P's "no signal" performance for their "Save Me" and "Blood, Sweat & Tears" performances at "The 6th GAON Chart Music Awards". One of BIGBANG's tour producers as well as siblings of the members supported the fandom online which added fuel to the fire.[62] This wasn't the first time that they got accused of copying BIGBANG by V.I.Ps.[63] Gaon later apologized.[64] The fandoms also got into a fight after discovering BIGBANG tags in BTS's "Blood, Sweat & Tears" music video.[65] Another example of a fanwar between Armys and V.I.Ps is the release of the Disney movie "Turning Red". Armys got upset that the director said that aspects of the movie were inspired by BIGBANG and 2PM [c] because the looks and mannerisms of the character Taeyoung seemed to be inspired by Jimin. V.I.Ps and Hottests in return got upset because BIGBANG and 2PM were being insulted. Later the director confirmed that Taeyoung was indeed inspired by Jimin which ended the fanwars.[66]


Many fans of K-Pop have been saying how the entire group of BIGBANG is problematic, minus Taeyang.[67] Taeyang is well known as the only member in BIGBANG who has never had a negative scandal. In fact, his biggest scandal is dropping the news of his wedding with Min Hyo-Rin without any notice and a cultural appropriation scandal (which is often forgotten by fans, but also pales in contrast to their other scandals).[68][69][70]

Seungri: Burning Sun Scandal

The Burning Sun scandal[71][72][73] was a 2019 entertainment and sex scandal in Seoul, South Korea, which involved several celebrities, including Korean idols of popular K-pop groups, and police officials. The allegations of sex crimes added to the country's "epidemic" of what is called "molka", a Korean word for the online distribution of nonconsensual sex videos taken of women, and the scandal became fodder for political parties, who argued over how to handle it.

The Burning Sun nightclub, (클럽 버닝썬, Club Burning Sun), opened at the Le Méridien Seoul hotel in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, on February 23, 2018, and closed during the investigation of the scandal on February 17, 2019. The nightclub was often called "Seungri's Club", due to its affiliation with him. The Burning Sun advertised itself as "the most elegant and finest club in South Korea". At that time, Seungri's Club was the place to be for Koreans. Everyone had heard of Seungri's Gatsby party in 2015 (this specific event has now been confirmed to have been the event where Seungri allegedly solicited prostitutes for his Japanese investors. G-Dragon’s take on Seungri’s behaviour at the event is now chilling to read considering what was really happening)[74] and everyone in South Korea wanted to attend one of these insane lavish parties as at the time it sounded like a glamourous place where you meet celebrities. Another example of this lifestyle of Seungri is his birthday on December 9, 2017, where Seungri rented an entire resort on the island of Palawan for a total of $444,083 USD. He invited approximately 150 guests and held the party for two days (two months after his successful party, the club opened with people from the party listed as president and investors. Police believe Seungri solicited prostitutes for the party).[75] Throughout the years, Seungri had developed a second career in business, and the nightclub business was not his first business venture, having been preceded by several others: a Japanese ramen restaurant chain, cosmetics, a Belgian waffle cafe, a music and dance academy called "Plug In Music Academy," also known as "Seungri Academy" where even high-profile idols were students, and a record company co-founded with his agency YG Entertainment. Fans believed that he was a "smart business man" some even going as far as saying that he could take over YG (in contrast to the believe that G-Dragon could take over. These fans believed that G-Dragon would become someone like Teddy Park to the company). Seungri’s taste for the high life earned him the nickname "The Great Gatsby of South Korea" or "Seungsby" and he even played into the nickname with his album titled "The Great Seungri".[76]

In the club, Seungri served as one of the DJs, along with other local and visiting guest artists like R3hab, while being the co-founder of Yuri Holdings, a shareholder of Burning Sun Entertainment that operated the club which owned as much as 20 percent in shares. The club had the reputation to be a high end club, the appeal being Seungri's Gatsby image. When people heard questionable stories coming out of the club first they would question if the story tellers were even sober enough to remember the events correctly. And if the answer was "yes" the response was that that is just what happens at the Burning Sun, that there is nothing else expect to happen at a place like this and that it doesn't have a wholesome reputation. The general public believed that chaos was to be expected, especially since a couple chaotic stories came to light before the scandal happened.

The first public awareness of the Burning Sun scandal was on January 28, 2019, when MBC Newsdesk reported on an alleged assault of a 29-year-old clubgoer, Kim Sang-kyo, at the Burning Sun nightclub. Kim said he was attempting to help a woman who was being sexually harassed, but staff had assaulted him. When the Yeoksam police arrived, he was arrested as the assailant and booked on seven charges, including criminal battery, an indecent act, defamation and the obstruction of the performance of official duties. He said the police assaulted him after he was placed under arrest. The incident occurred on November 24, 2018, but came to media attention in January 2019, after Kim posted a blue house petition detailing his assault by Burning Sun staffers and mistreatment by police which received more than 200,000 signatures in just one day. The club responded by saying that he was a sexual assaulter and that they were throwing him out which netizens found strange at the time. The general public was on Kim's side. During the early stages, the scandal evolved around Kim's complaint against the Burning Sun nightclub, including any possible crimes that may have occurred there, and the identities of responsible parties, but soon the club's scandal was heightened in the media. Especially since women now that a man was backing them up felt comfortable enough to come forward with their cases as well (before Kim's statement there were cases where women were slut shamed for speaking out about their experiences, many of them also reported the sexual assault they experienced to the police, but they did nothing which led to claims of police corruption).[77] By January 31, 2019, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) had taken charge of the investigation, which included allegations of local Gangnam police corruption and collusion with the club's owners, and had assigned a team to look into the club's allegations of sexual violence, drug use, Kim's arrest and any connection with the local police station. Seungri's involvement and his relationship to the nightclub immediately became a hot media issue. Yang Hyun-suk the chief of his agency, YG Entertainment, released a statement on January 31, that Seungri had been at the club on November 28, but left before Kim's incident occurred. He also said Seungri's recent resignation as a senior director of the club was due to his upcoming military enlistment. Fans were relieved as they were very shocked about this scandal and couldn't believe his involvement being true at first. Hashtags like #SeungriDeservesBetter started to trend.[78][79][80][81][82]

On February 26, 2019, the first portions of the KakaoTalk was released that would become crucial in the investigation, saying their origin was an anonymous source. A lawyer had obtained the messages from a whistleblower or "anonymous source", possibly a technician at a phone repair shop, where singer and entertainer Jung Joon-young had dropped his phone off for repairs. The recordings dated back to 2015, and seemed to implicate Seungri with allegations that he had directed Burning Sun staff to arrange prostitutes for foreign investors who were coming to Seoul, at another Gangnam nightclub. On February 2, Dispatch revealed alleged chats among Burning Sun employees that revolved around discussion of date rape.[83] The scandal revolves around a core chat that involved eight members: Seungri, Jung Joon-young, Choi Jonghoon (of F.T. Island), Yoo In Suk (former CEO of Yuri Holdings which held 20 percent of the shares of the club), Burning Sun employee named Mr. Kim, a relative of a girl group member (the brother of Yuri of Girls' Generation), a former YG Entertainment employee and a friend of Jung.[84][85] On February 27, Seungri was questioned by the SMPA, a lengthy interview that lasted overnight and included a drug test. Seungri denied allegations of attempts to buy sex for potential foreign investors.

However, on March 10, Seungri was booked on sex bribery charges.[86] The following day, he resigned from entertainment on his Instagram account, stating that he had caused a "societal disturbance" and said he would cooperate with the investigation.[87] Fans were devastated and disgusted while a small part of the fandom started to believe that he was victim of a witch hunt.

On March 12, FNC Entertainment denied the involvement of Lee Jong Hyun of CNBLUE and Choi Jong-hoon of F.T. Island.

On March 13, Jung Joon-young penned a letter of apology where he confessed his crimes and announced his retirement from the entertainment industry. The same day, a statement was posted on the DC FTISLAND Gallery demanding Choi Jong Hoon’s withdrawal from the band.[88] Hongki (the lead singer of F.T. Island) had a brief response for fans who still supported Choi as he posted to a comment on Instagram written in Japanese, "I beg you. Please don’t give up on Choi Jong Hoon." the response in Korean "I give up".[89][90] Earlier he was able to clear his name and be cleared by SBS funE reporter Kang Kyung Yoon that he is indeed not "Lee" like fans speculated. After the clearance of his name fans were quick to trust him again as he is known for being really honest and having a no bullshit policy.[91] At that time a lot of idols were rumored to involved in the case only to be later cleared as well like Hongki, such as Jennie of Blackpink as a rumored victim because a rumor began that some of the illegally filmed videos involved a girl group member, Jihyo of Twice was also speculated to be a possible victim, Sehun of EXO was speculated to be part of the chatroom, but SM Entertainment was quick to say that those rumors are groundless, Kang Daniel of Wanna One, Zico of Block B because he mentioned the "golden phone", Roy Kim and Eddy Kim.[92] At that time, people were quick to throw accusations around because the scandal was so outrageous and everyone wanted answers.

Meanwhile, on March 14, two more singers, Yong Jun-hyung of the boy band Highlight and Choi Jong-hoon of the rock band F.T. Island, announced their retirement from their respective music groups following speculation that they were participants in Jung's chatrooms. Yong admitted to viewing one of Jung's sex tapes that was recorded without the woman's permission and participating in "inappropriate conversations" about it, saying, "All these behaviours were extremely unethical, and I was stupid". Yong was questioned by police as a witness.[93] Choi had been a member of one of the chatrooms that was of immediate interest in media reports and the investigation. In one conversation, Choi allegedly detailed his own drunk driving incident from 2016, that was allegedly kept out of media coverage due to help from a police official with the surname Yoon.[94]

On March 15, another Korean idol, Lee Jong-hyun of rock band CNBLUE, admitted to viewing Jung's sex videos in a group chatroom and making disparaging remarks about women, talking about them as sexual objects.[95] The same day, Choi Jonghoon was booked on charges of sharing illegal photos and questioned by police on March 16 under allegations of secretly filming and sharing videos.[96]

Jung Joon-young was arrested on March 21 for charges under the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. of Sexual Crimes. He was charged with crimes against at least ten victims for illegally filming and distributing sex tapes. Jung admitted to the charges and apologized at the hearing for his arrest at the Seoul Central District Court, and was later taken to the SMPA's Jongno Police Station.[97]

The club essentially ran another separate business model at the same time: the club was free to go for girls, especially "pretty ones". Club employees would then "scout" them for their VIP costumers (customers who paid a lot of money basically), even going as far as creating a "menu" for them. After the VIPs had decided on a girl they would drug the girls with drugs like GHB, a common date rape drug, and the VIPs could take them to a "VIP room" or a hotel room next to the club to rape them. Illegal hidden camera videos were filmed and shared of the girls they had sex with. The chat logs where the celebrities described their sex adventures or the trading of girls were later released. In this chat room the participants would also “rate” the women they had sex with. The local police was paid off and would work with the employees to sweep it under the rug which is why females were very discouraged to take actions against the club (the public also didn't believe them before the scandal happened. The public would think that they are trying to sleep with the men to get to their money).[98]


Seungri was an active participant in Jung Joon Young’s chat rooms, where illegal sex videos were shared. He was only investigated for his participation in the chat room and reportedly did not share more than one photo he found online. In addition to sharing an illicit photo of a woman in Jung's chatroom he was investigated for supplying prostitutes for investors, giving concert tickets to a police officer Yoon, and embezzlement of funds from the clubs Monkey Museum and the Burning Sun. Seungri enlisted in the military on March 9, 2020, and his case was transferred to the military court. His trial started on September 16, consisting in eight charges. Seungri denied all charges except one, violation of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act, for which he stated he was deeply reflecting on his mistake. On August 12, 2021, Seungri was sentenced to a three-year prison term, a fine of 1.15 billion won (US$990,000), and immediate detention for charges, including prostitution, prostitution mediation, embezzlement, violating food safety laws, habitual gambling, and violating the foreign exchange law. On January 27, 2022, after a final appeal at the South Korean High Court for Armed Forces, his prison sentence was reduced to 18 months. Seungri pleaded guilty to all charges brought against him. He also stated that he would reflect on his actions. On February 6, 2023, it was reported that Seungri would be released from prison on February 11. On February 9, 2023, Seungri was released from prison much to the surprise of netizens. Many netizens were angered that Seungri was only given a short sentence of three years and was baffled as the Korean justice system had not severely punished him for his crimes.[99][100]

Jung Joon Young was initially sentenced to six years in prison for gang sexual assault and for taking and sharing illegally taken sex videos. However, his sentence was reduced to five years after he submitted documents expressing his regret. He was released on March 19, 2024.[101][102]

Former member of F.T. Island Choi Jonghoon was initially sentenced to five years in prison after he was charged for participating in two different gang rapes, though his sentence was reduced to two years and six months after being able to come to a settlement with his victims.[103] Most Primadonnas are very disappointed in him for doing such an evil thing and tainting the band's image in such a way. Most are scared that the rest of the band has to suffer a loss of popularity because of him. Nevertheless, he also still has some fans. However, public opinion remains cold towards his comeback. Hongki as the new leader and face of the group has also maintained a firm stance on former member Choi Jonghoon. A response Hongki left to a fan’s comment gained attention on May 30, 2019. The fan wrote, “While Lee Hong Ki and his stylist are having fun in Hawaii, Choi Jong Hoon is in jail. Are you okay with that? Do you sleep well?” To this, Hongki wrote back, “I eat well, I sleep well, and I even poop well.”[104]

Former member of Highlight, Yong Junhyung was affiliated with the scandal after he admitted to viewing an illegal video that Jung Joon Young shared with him. Junhyung admitted to speaking “inappropriately” but denied sending any illegal content himself. He did not face charges. In 2024 he started dating HyunA which enraged her fans and really tainted her image as she was seen as a female icon before that which doesn't fit with dating a "misogynist". The K-pop community was disappointed.[105]

Former CNBLUE member Lee Jonghyun participated in talking about the women he and Jung Joon Young slept with, even asking the other women. After initially denying his involvement, Jonghyun admitted to viewing the illegally filmed videos. He did not face charges.[106]

Roy Kim was accused of sharing and viewing illegal sex cams as he was also known to be a close friend of Jung Joon Young, but was found not to be involved in the group chats that did. After his name was cleared, Roy Kim returned to music in 2020 before he enlisted in the Marines for his mandatory military service. In October 2022, he released his latest album ,and.[107][108]

Eddy Kim was booked for “circulating obscene material” in relation to Jung Joon Young’s group chat before his indictment was suspended by the prosecution. It was later revealed that he shared a single photo from the internet in a different group chat. In April 2019, the charges were dropped as the investigators stated that the singer did not actually participate in the conversation that happened in the 'KakaoTalk Group Chat' and was not involved in the illegal activities of the other accused. Additionally, the group chat where Eddy Kim was a part of was only for hobbies and not in the one where illicit activities and lewd conversations were shared.[109]

Also in late September 2019, rapper Zico, who had mentioned Jung's "golden phone" on a television program in 2016,[110] and was rumored to have seen the illegal videos, released lyrics in a song on his new album referring to it, "I've never seen a video like that, I swear to God."[111] Fans of Zico defend him by saying that he wouldn't have mentioned the phone if he knew what was on it because no one would be that stupid.[112] Others claim that the stuff happening in the Burning Sun was so blatantly done that that is not an excuse anymore also referring to his other scandals like homophobia[113] and racism[114] and his good friendship with Jung, but people tend to often forget that he even was part of the scandal which is why it isn't brought up a lot.[115][116]

There are also other non-celebrity people who faced charges, for example former Gangnam police officer Kang, age 44, was arrested for allegations of brokering between the Burning Sun and other police officers, and booked for assisting with an underage drinking incident at the Burning Sun, which co-CEO Lee Sung-hyun admitted to paying him for. Police firings and investigations included a senior superintendent Yoon, who knew Yoo, and assisted with the underage drinking incident and Monkey Museum's business zoning violations, and was charged with violating the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act for receiving concert tickets from Seungri.[117][118][119]

Follwing his release Seungri has come into the public spotlight including his club visits. According to an article his daily life has returned to what it was prior to the scandal. He also had cheating articles published about him and was spotted with many different women. Netizens claimed that apparently prison didn't change him. Netizens also questioned why they were published in the first place and speculated that he wanted to use mini scandals to come back into the industry as those scandals definitely sound better than Burning Sun and for example Choi Jonghoon is also trying to come back.[120][121] Netizens were enraged calling that behaviour shameless. Later he also hosted a private fan meeting in Cambodia where he promised that he would bring G-Dragon to Cambodia. He got a warm welcome by many celebreties there. This enraged and shocked fans. People wondered what an idol has to do so that people will stop supporting them.[122]

Public response

This scandal came after women protesting and trying to take on spycams in South Korea in August 2018. In August they were carrying signs declaring “My life is not your porn”, were gathering to protest molka – the use of hidden cameras to take images and videos, usually of a sexual nature, for distribution online – and to demand better policing and harsher penalties for those found guilty.[123][124] This scandal ignited public protests early in March 2019 again, and later, after police attempts to arrest Seungri and Yoo fell through. Women were enraged about the Burning Sun scandal stating that the recent nightclub scandal exposed a culture that exploits women and is very misogynistic. The scandal added to ongoing discussions of women's issues in South Korea — gender inequality, the budding Me Too movement in South Korea, feminism, "molka", prostitution, and the K-pop industry's attitude towards women. Activists criticized a general dismissive attitude towards the crimes, citing a "deeply rooted gender inequality and misogyny in the country". Talks included the K-pop industry, which critics had blamed for sexualizing women. Gangnam's nightclubs, usually "a pilgrimage site for K-pop fans", immediately saw a tapering of Chinese tourists, followed by a general decline of customers to nightclubs and lounge bars.[125][126]

A November 2019 retrospective article, written by Matthew Campbell and Sohee Kim for Bloomberg Businessweek, pointed out that the K-pop industry, in general, had ignored the scandal, with "no organized demands for better behavior from male stars or serious discussions about revamping how idols are trained." They quoted a former SM Entertainment executive, Jeong Chang-hwan, on its implicit impact, "It's a huge lesson in what not to do," he says. "The best teacher for young idols is to see fellow idols get into a scandal and disappear from the industry."[127]

Allegations of police misconduct and corruption in the scandal added public support to a government proposal to create an independent investigative agency, first announced by President Moon in July 2017, and still undergoing political debate. Proposed to "uncover wrongdoing by high-level government officials and their relatives", with the power to take over prosecutions, opponents had questioned its own potential for corruption.

K-pop fans' reactions were mixed, some called for YG Entertainment to remove Seungri from the group BigBang for tarnishing the group's image and having used the group's celebrity to promote his business, even waiting outside his agency's office for an explanation. However, other fans continued to support him.[128]

The public appeared to boycott a noodle chain called Aori Ramen between January and April 2019, according to multiple store owners who filed a compensation lawsuit in July blaming Seungri, who had run and promoted the franchise, for falling sales.

Netizens state that these issues are deeper than K-pop, they penetrate all of corporate culture here and that Seungri and the rest were a scapegoat for the bigger culprits. However, the scandal still changed how fans view idols, but many fans claim that it didn't change enough and that there were barely any repercussions. Fans are especially enraged about the shortness of the sentences. Fans are a lot more sceptical and have accepted that they aren't angels but indeed human especially since a lot of idols were initially dragged into the scandal. Netizens speculate that Burning Sun isn't an isolated incident which led to fans developing more of a distrust towards the male idols and are less keen to support them. They just don’t seem popular with casual fans or the general public like some used to be, but even that distrust isn't very strong as male idols are still doing just fine, they have millions of fans and are all over TV. Their charting is poor now (with only a couple of exceptions), but people don't know if it's caused by this as boy groups have been losing the popularity with the general public even before Burning Sun. It also seems to it not hurt even BIGBANG really except for maybe breaking them up, but fans claim that that was happening beforehand. "Still Life" went #1 for weeks in Korea, was also number 1 in a lot of other countries, was top 10 on the billboard 200, won best vocal performance at MAMA, had 9 music show wins and they did all that without promotion. Also it became a lot more taboo for idols to be seen at a club. Prior to the scandal idols and celebrities used to openly talk about going to the club and be photographed there. For example, Jay Park's AOMG launch party in 2013 at club A. YG Entertainment lost a lot of its reputation, also due to Yang Hyun-suk being closely related to the scandal. But fans stated that it seems like nobody is "replacing" YGE either. HYBE was added to the Big 3 and it became "Big 4" in the Korean media. Their earnings and results seem fine as even their "smaller" acts like Somi and Treasure are very successful.[129]

Hints in hindsight according to fans

Fans were uploading videos like "Seungri, All the lies and all the hints from Big Bang we should have known" where the rest of the members are seen saying that they don't like Seungri's friends and similar things. Fans interpreted that as BIGBANG trying to warn Seungri, being sad and eventually resigned about the situation.[130] Fans claimed that they had to do it on TV because they probably coulnd't reach out to Seungri otherwise anymore. Especially a video from 2017 where BIGBANG had to emulate a meeting in the future in 5 years (2022) prediciting the future got fans talking as the members were saying to Seungri that they are working together as four these days and that it's been a long time, that he kept asking for money and that he was banned from the country.[131] (Additionally they were also talking about Taeyang getting married which he did one year later which was funny to fans). Fans were commenting: "They knew Seungri was up to something .. how unfortunate. He caused so much damage for them. I hope everyone can support BIGBANG now as 4 and show them a lot of love for their comeback ! They deserve it without Seungri ruining it for all of them." and "I was laughing so hard at how ironic the situation turned out to be.. but damn! After a couple of times of watching this its so sad how accurate they were." Fans were amazed how accurate their precitions were and how foreshadowing it was. According to fans he was also making Blackpink uncomfortable,[132] some even going as far as claiming that Jennie and Mino of Winner knew something was up.[133] Many V.I.Ps claimed that Seungri being shady didn't surprise them at all as they got bad vibes from him and got wary of him.

Another hint accordig to fans was that Seungri has had some sex scandals beforehand for example his one night stand scandal in 2012. On September 13, 2012 the Japanese gossip magazine "Friday" published him sleeping shirtless with a woman who claimed to have had a one night stand with him. The woman exposed Seungri's habits in bed including that he doesn't kiss during sex which was interpreted as "he isn't friendly".[134] One week later Seungri had another scandal as he was captured with Japanese model and actress Anna Kubo in Hong Kong resulting in another scandal. YG Entertainment quickly denied any rumors of a relationship.[135]


Vehicular Manslaughter

Daesung was involved in a car accident on Yanghwa Bridge on May 31, 2011 around 1:30AM. He hit a motorcyclist that was lying on the street from an earlier accident and later crashed into a taxi in front of him which had stopped to try and help the motorcyclist who was unresponsive. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead shortly after the accident. YG Entertainment announced Daesung would be on hiatus and reflect on himself and his actions during the investigation. Fans were shocked, but quick to condemn him after details were revealed. Daesung was speeding at 70-80 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. Daesung was labeled as a murderer. YG's compensations of offering to provide the family with funeral expenses and death compensation was seen as disrespectful manner and poor compensation.[136] That incident was a nation wide news back then and because of that the investigation was heavily dissected by the media.

On August 29, 2011 the Seoul Prosecutor’s office dismissed charges against him. The prosecutor’s office said no sufficient evidence was found to prove the victim was alive at the time of Daesung’s contact with him, and it’s hard to completely rule out the possibility of the motorcyclist being killed from his earlier crash into the streetlamp. The motorcyclist was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.186% prior to hitting the streetlamp which resulted in severe damages to his face, neck, and back. However, there have been many speculations as to whether Daesung caused the victim’s death as he ran over the motorcyclist who was lying on the street just three minutes after the initial crash. All nine members of the committee agreed to exempt Daesung from indictment as it was unclear whether the drunk driver was already dead before Daesung was involved and in that case according to the law the judge has no choice but to acquit (there have been many judicial precedent for similar cases). '"Based on the evidence we have, it is true that Daesung hit the victim due to negligent driving. But it's hard to identify the direct connection between Daesung's negligent driving and the victim's death, and in that case, the benefit of doubt should be given. So we decided to drop any charges against Daesung."' an official from the prosecutor’s office said.[137] Daesung would remain on hiatus until November 6, 2011.[138]

He also later revealed that he had suicidal thoughts during his hiatus in an interview on October 2, 2011[139] and in an episode of SBS' Healing Camp on February 20, 2012.[140] He stated, "It was extremely painful for me after the accident. I almost thought, 'If I didn't have faith in God, I might have done a lot of bad things.' After the toughest three, four days of my life, I met the head pastor of my church. He encouraged and relieved me, and after that, I felt much at peace of mind. Since then, the only place that made me feel truly comfortable was the church. A lot of celebrities have been committing suicide lately, and I started to understand why. This is why celebrities commit suicide, I thought to myself. Not that I thought about hanging myself, but I did feel like I could have made the decision to do so. Back then, every single comment on the Web felt like it was drilling my heart. The toughest thing was being called a 'murderer'. For a while, it felt like people viewed me as a 'murderer.'" Koreans debated the situation 24/7 back then, it was heavily discussed by the media and the conclusion in the end was that the people should give him a pass on this one. After all his only wrong doing was speeding over the limit by 20km/h at the wrong place at the wrong time as he had no intention to kill. However, it heavily affected his career at that time as it kind of tanked his solo gigs and turned him off promoting solo or in variety shows. Before that he was very popular in South Korea and while most fans were somewhat forgiving some definitely weren't because of his speeding. He essentially got kind of banished from South Korea for a few years which is also why he has fewer fans. He got lucky that his solo career in Japan took off. After a while, some people started to feel like it's in the past, but some people never forgave him. However, after Seungri's scandal some people started to question whether it was right of the judical system to drop the charges as they questioned how much YG Entertainment swept under rug throughout the years because the entertainment seemed to be very corrupt.[141]

Prostitution building

In July 2018, Channel A reported that illegal adult entertainment businesses involving prostitution services were being operated in a building that Daesung owns.[142] Daesung denied knowledge of any illegal activities and announced legal action against the alleged businesses. In 2019 a lawyer claimed Daesung was well aware of the prostitution and illegal adult entertainment that was taking place in his building.[143] Said lawyer stated, "On September 20, 2017, Daesung visited a law firm to find out if the building owner could be held responsible if illegal adult entertainment was found on its premises. Before purchasing the building, he brought a real estate agent and the branch manager of a bank to receive consultation at the law firm. There, he asked about the illegal entertainment laws, such as prostitution. At the time of the meeting, Daesung already knew exactly where the illegal entertainment was taking place in his [prospective] building. He knew for certain that there was an illegal store. He also asked if it was possible to kick out a tenant that was committing illegal activities. The lawyer responded that the landlord can't ask the tenant to leave unilaterally." An old letter of G-Dragon to Daesung also resurfaced. Netizens claimed that G-Dragon knew that Daesung was involved in illegal activities. They criticized the members and claimed that their inside jokes had secret meanings.[144] Before that Daesung had released an apology letter claiming he was unaware of what was happening as he had been serving in the army as soon as he bought the building. He stated, "The building described in the reports is one that I purchased just before enlisting and is a building that has been under my name. I enlisted almost immediately after buying [the building], and as a result from it, I would like to once more sincerely apologize for my inexperienced management of the building. At the time of purchasing the building, business was already taking place as there were tenants that had already moved in, so I was not properly aware of the illegal activities of the relevant companies. For establishments that have been identified to have done illegal activities, we will immediately be taking legal action, and with my responsibilities as the landlord, I will do my best. I have belatedly realized my shortcomings and am deeply reflecting. I will do my best faithfully in regards to all the incorrect aspects."[145] In 2020, after the Seoul Gangnam Police Station had questioned Daesung as a witness and reviewed documents and testimonies obtained through the results of search and seizure[146] they concluded that Daesung is cleared of suspicion and will not be charged.[147][148] He reportedly also sold it after his controversy, although police investigations were still ongoing.[149] This was a huge relief to fans as they were already devastated after the Burning Sun scandal and Seungri's involvement in it, but is also because of the Burning Sun scandal sometimes questioned similar to his first scandal. Others claim that he probably has a financial advisors team behind him making these investments and he probably doesn't keep track of every detail.[150] However, BIGBANG's image was already damaged due to Seungri's action and the rest of the members were in the military during that time which is why the public was only confronted with negative stuff coming from the band tainting their image heavily.[151]


Illegal Marijuana Usage

At the same time Daesung was on hiatus due to his car accident, G-Dragon got into a controversy. On October 5, 2011, G-Dragon was indicted on charges of smoking marijuana. Marijuana is highly illegal in Korea, only just being legalized for specific instances of medicinal use back in November 2018. Investigators determined that G-Dragon smoked marijuana in Japan sometime in May. On June 15, G-Dragon was subject to a urine drug test, which came out negative. However, hair drug test results released in July showed signs of marijuana. G-Dragon confessed that he did consume a marijuana cigarette at a club in Japan. He didn’t know for sure that it was marijuana, but he still took it. Charges against G-Dragon were dropped for various reasons, including the fact that this was G-Dragon’s first criminal offense, and that the amount of marijuana that was found in his system was so small. G-Dragon temporarily halted all promotions following his marijuana scandal to reflect on his actions, and YG Entertainment also released their own statement, expressing their apologies to all V.I.Ps. Some Koreans noticed that G-Dragon suddenly shaved his head in August 2011, believing he was trying to avoid any further drug tests. However, Kim Hwe Jong of the Seoul Prosecutor’s Office shut down these rumors as the drug test took place beforehand.


Military Service Scandals

G-Dragon "Dry Humps" Dancer At All Ages Concert

Animal abuse scandal

In 2020, G-Dragon got accused of neglecting his pet dogs at his hotel, which is operated by his parents.[153]

G-Dragon had adopted two Shar Pei puppies named Gaho and Jolie years ago. G-Dragon absolutely adored them as he literally took them with him everywhere including to a music awards ceremony and he featured them in the music video for "Breathe" in 2009. Fans around the world also quickly fell in love with them. As Gaho and Jolie grew up, they needed more space and attention than G-Dragon could offer with his hectic schedule and apartment life in Seoul. So Gaho and Jolie were sent to a pension run by his family, where they could enjoy the outdoors and have more space to run around ("They were paraded around everywhere until they weren't cute anymore" - essentially he also got criticized for using his pet dogs as accessories). And VIPs were able to meet Gaho and Jolie during their stay at the pension.[154][155]

The accusations came after pictures of the artist's two Shar Peis were posted on an online community in June 2020.[156][157][158][159] The pictures showed the dogs with long nails and locked inside fences.[160][161] His dogs were seen tied to a small caged in area in the pension's yard. The dogs looked "overheated" and "sad" in the raging summer heat. The dogs' nails were also so long that it showed that they weren't receiving the most basic care or being taken out for walks. The pictures of the dogs shocked fans, as the pets have been popular among them since G-Dragon adopted them. Netizens pointed out that the dogs breed is not meant to be kept outside at the villa as they aren't outside dogs at all. They are short-nosed breed which mean they have trouble breathing most of the time. Not to mention their short nose mean they can't regulate their body temperature really well. For them to be chained outside all year would be just cruel and irresponsible. Shar Pei also need a lot of exercise and to netizens it didn't seem like they are getting any at all living inside those tiny cages. Gaho's nail were abnormally long. If he was getting regular walks, the nails would be naturally trimmed down. Also Shar Pei have a lot of skin folds which need regular cleaning. If regular cleaning is not being done, they can get an infection or skin problems.[162] Knowing this, the keepers still kept the dogs outside in an enclosed dirty space apparently surrounded by poop and pee.[163] They also seem to be not given any form of affection which is why they are likely depressed. There was also a cat at the pension being chained next to the garbage.[164] The cat seemed to not been given adequate care. People were quick to claim that they have been abused since around 2013 at least.[165]

A post from bloggers of Eatyourkimchi mentioning Gaho being neglected as far back as 2014 resurfaced: "There's one thing we want to talk about that really upset us when we were at G Dragon's Villa: his poor dog, Gaho. We were really excited to see Gaho, because we're dog people and love playing with dogs, but we were really sad around Gaho. The poor dog is on a chain all day. He has a dog house built for him, but the space that he’s in isn't big enough for a dog his size. In the morning we see him sleeping beside piles of poop and puddles of urine. In the afternoon he's put on a short leash and just lays around all day. We didn't see him walked once."[166]

G-Dragon got heavily criticized: "Wow, they're rich enough to get him groomed at a salon and yet they neglected him to this point"; "He had no problems taking pictures with Gaho when he was still young and cute but now that he's big and average, he threw him out in the country. I still don't get how anyone still likes this short druggie, tsk tsk. He's old in numbers but has never matured."; "Wouldn't this make him a psychopath? He treats animals like some pretty piece of clothing that he throws out when he doesn't want to wear it anymore. If he really didn't want these pets anymore, he should've hired a pet sitter to at least look after them. This is past the point of disappointment, I'm flat out embarrassed to even call myself his fan in public."[167][168][169]

Netizens would also dig out his ELLE Magazine interview from September 2016 in which G-Dragon discusses his cat-dad life. This added fuel to the fire as people were mad about him "adopting cats when he clearly doesn't have the responsibility to look after pets." G-Dragon's past Instagram posts, showing off his cats, have since been flooded with hate from these netizens.[170]

Animal negligence is a form of abuse, according to the Animal Protection Act, which is why G-Dragon was being subject to massive criticism. Pet owners were criticizing G-Dragon for leaving a dog with skin vulnerabilities outside, and failing to provide minimum care, not even a walk. Some others claimed that negligence falls short of abuse, since there hasn't been any direct act of brutality towards the pets. Animal negligence is difficult to prove, and the court may be inclined to a more passive interpretation of relevant provisions, some said. Experts argued that public awareness on animal negligence should be improved, and that the government should amend relevant legislation as a preventive method.[171]

Rapper KittiB tweeted on June 27, 2020, "I wish there was a law that prevented people who raise and abandon animals like fast fashion from ever adopting a pet again……. I'm sorry that I'm a human……" After her post, KittiB was bombarded by fans and netizens who criticized her for allegedly talking bad about G-Dragon. The commenters implied that she was referring to G-Dragon by the post she commented under, as well as the fact that G-Dragon is a fashionista and had recently been called out for adopting other cats. In the end, she had to respond that she didn't intend to attack G-Dragon as some people were still defending him. The scandal essentially split the fandom into two factions: people who condemned G-Dragon and people who defended him by saying that he likely didn't know what was happening as he wasn't the person looking after the dogs.[172] A lot of comments blamed G-Dragon's parents or the staffs at the villa instead, questioned the validity of the pictures, said that G-Dragon had to give the dogs to his parents because he was busy/touring/enlisting or falsely claimed that these dogs are not suited for apartment life. However, G-Dragon definitely received a lot more hate than love.

After the heavy backlash, a fan posted a photo update showing that Gaho's nails have been trimmed since the scandal and was given fresh summer blankets to lay on.[173] A reporter decided to take a visit himself to see how Gaho and Jolie were being treated since the scandal. He uploaded a video of the dogs' new home.[174] Gaho was seen walking around the same area which appeared to have been updated with higher and sturdier cage walls, new blankets, and a wider space. The reporter confirmed that his nails were trimmed. But he also noted that Jolie had disappeared. Jolie's dog house and area was taken away and Gaho's area was extended for bigger space. Jolie apparently ran away, but the staff also wouldn't answer questions.[175] Netizens were mad that they wouldn't adress Jolie or the cat at all, instead they just focused on Gaho. Some netizens claimed that that was because they were trying to keep the scandal from blowing up further. Many fans were beyond disappointed in G-Dragon. In 2023 Gaho passed away.[176]


The first plagiarism scandal of G-Dragon came up in 2009 regarding his song "Heartbreaker" which was plagiarizing Flo Rida's "Right Round" according to the copyright owner of "Right Round" and Warner Korea, the publisher of the song in South Korea.[177][178][179][180] releases Heartbreaker feat. Flo Rida[181] Netizens also pointed out that "Butterfly" of the same album resembled "She's Electric" by British rock band Oasis.[182] - Heartbreaker another scandal[183][184] G-Dragon opinion[185]

6 scandals[186]

In 2017 netizens pointed out that the track "Intro: Middle Fingers Up" from G-Dragon's latest album "Kwon Ji-Yong" sounds striking similar to "iSpy" by the American rapper KYLE.[187][188]


Jennie dating scandal

T.O.P: Drug usage, overdose and departure of the band

T.O.P was known for having anxiety issues and depression and for consuming sedatives.

In March 2016 a stylist with an "extensive network of idol friends" was being investigated for drug use. On April 11, 2016 Suwon's crime squad released a report that they are currently investigating Stylist "A" for using cocaine. It was revealed that the stylist worked at a large management agency until recently, building friendships with several idol stars, and was caught using marijuana and cocaine multiple times since 2014. It was reported that "A" not only had many idol friends, but has also appeared on air several times. According to investigators, there was therefore a possibility that the investigation will be extended to others in the entertainment industry as well.[192] The stylist was later revealed to be 2NE1's stylist and friend of BIGBANG Yang Seung Ho (a.k.a Yang or XIN) who was arrested for smoking marijuana while in Tokyo, Japan.[193] Police investigations into him lead them to suspect T.O.P, but police have no cause to test him. In the end, as police did not arrest any idols, it appeared as though no one else was involved in XIN's illegal drug usage.

However, on June 1, 2017 On June 1, 2017, the first reports about T.O.P’s drug usage with controversial trainee Han Seo Hee in October 2016 were made public, while he was on a 3-day break from military duties. Han Seo Hee has been a trainee at multiple companies including YG Entertainment and auditioned multiple times to be a K-Pop idol. In March 2017[194] police began investigating her for illegal drug use after an arrest of a drug dealer on December 7, 2019 had led the police to her.[195] Police examined Han Seo Hee’s belongings and were able to verify her claims of smoking with T.O.P. With this verification, they were now able to demand a drug test from T.O.P, which came back positive.

T.O.P began his military service on February 9, 2017.[196] He was officially assigned to the Seoul Gangnam Police Station on March 6, 2017. T.O.P initially denied the allegations, when called in, claiming it was only an e-cigarette. But when confronted with evidence, he admitted to smoking marijuana in his home with Han Seo Hee. Apparently, he had contacted her on October 8, 2016 for the first time. From October, 9, 2016, to October 12, 2016, the duo had used drugs three times. In November, 2016 YG reportedly told Han Seo Hee to head to America in an attempt to keep T.O.P's and iKON B.I's drug cases hidden[197] which she did on December 9, 2016, four days before BIGBANG released 'MADE'. A person affiliated with her company at that time revealed to Dispatch: "YG would like (Seo Hee) to stay abroad during BIGBANG's promotions. The company booked the flight and she stayed in the US until BIGBANG’s album promotions came to an end." In January she was told to stay in America until after T.O.P would be enlisted in military.[198]

One day after the reveal of his positive drug test in June 2017, T.O.P voluntarily returned to the police station for further questioning. It was reported that if found guilty, T.O.P could face up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 50 million won ($44,560). T.O.P apologized with a hand-written note posted to YG Entertainment's website four days later.[199] "First of all, I would like to extend my sincere apology to many of you for causing huge disappointment and disturbance. I feel so embarrassed that I can't show myself in front of you to apologize. I have no excuses and deserve any kind of punishment. I feel very regretful and fearful for having left an irreparable scar in everyone's hearts, including our members, my agency, friends and family. I will reflect on my wrongdoing over and over again. Once more, I apologize for not being able to apologize to everyone personally."

On June 6, 2017 T.O.P was rushed to the hospital in critical condition following a drug overdose just a few days after his confession.[200] Fans were devastated speculating a suicide. Netizens reacted with hate ("If only he apologized with the same bravery he had to attempt suicide") also towards his mom who expressed her sadness over her son almost dying ("What’s wrong with his mother? Does she not get that her son did drugs? She should be reprimanding her son for doing drugs, not acting like this") which according to fans traumatized him.[201] Two days later he finally regained consciousness and eventually fully recovered. Netizens would also claim that his case wasn't serious as the Korean media and sites like Netizen Buzz did what sites like that do and played up the narrative that T.O.P and YGE somehow faked the severity of the situation even as he lay in the ICU. Inevitably, that kind of coverage led to netizens (both Korean and international) believing that this was just a case of a celeb faking sickness in order to escape punishment or something, and that the whole ordeal was just media play. ("The police sound mad ㅋㅋㅋ he was basically just sleeping and the media kept saying he was in critical condition") In reality however, his situation was very severe and serious as he acutally was in critical condition while his vitals showed high blood pressure and high heart rate, along with unstable breathing.[202] Netizens criticized the idol so much that he swore he would not promote in Korea again. ("I won't make a Korean comeback. I don't want to make any comeback... They're so evil. People.")[203]

It was later revealed that he acutally attempted to take his own life at that time. In 2022, he opened up about the attempt for the first time: "This is the first time I've spoken about this publicly, but I did try to commit suicide about five years ago. I realised later how much hurt and painful memories I gave to the people around me, my family and fans out there."[204] He described the moment as "the worst moment of his life". He also revealed that he wanted to stop making music and being a musician, but in the end he couldn't because during the bad times, the rough times, his motivation to keep going was the music.

On June 29, 2017 he attended his trial where he admitted to using marijuana and pleaded guilty to all drug charges,[205] and where it was revealed that the trainee was his girlfriend, but he broke up with her.[206] She however accused him of putting the blame on her. During that time his military service was put on hiatus. T.O.P's fans tried to show their support on social media, including on Twitter. "No matter what people say, I'm just so proud of T.O.P even today. His heart is gold and doesn't change," said one Twitter user.[207] For his offences, he was found guilty and received a two-year probation with 10 months of prison if probation is broken, as well as a fine of 12,000 KRW (approximately 10 USD).[208] After undergoing a disciplinary review by the police T.O.P was eventually assigned reservist status by the Ministry of National Defense and transferred from the police department to complete his mandatory service as a public service worker. He resumed his mandatory service as public service officer at the Yongsan Arts and Crafts Center in central Seoul on January 26, 2018. Afterwards T.O.P was discharged on July 6, 2019. Han Seo Hee was also arrested and sentenced to four years of probation and 120 hours of drug treatment sessions for smuggling and buying cannabis and LSD.

Although T.O.P fully admitted his involvement in the case, netizens quickly forgave the BIGBANG star and mostly blamed Han Seo Hee for the scandal.

Apparently, Han Seo Hee can't let fully go of T.O.P as she talked about his dick size on her Instagram live and sometimes refers to him on social media. On October 31, 2018, T.O.P updated his Instagram for the first time in over a year. Several hours later, his controversial ex-girlfriend, Han Seo Hee, shared a lengthy post on Instagram with a photo from a YG building. The anger-filled message seems to be targeting T.O.P. She stated, "Don't even think about coming out. Who do you think you are to be crawling out like this? I heard you're telling your peers that I received money from you and that I'm a gold digger? You must be talking a lot of s*it for it to also reach me. Stop talking about me. Talk about it after you actually give me money. You do have a lot of money. You seem to be living quietly so I had my mouth shut but I'm going to say what I need to say since you're uploading on Instagram as if nothing happened hehe But I won't lie saying you're a gold digger at least. Do you know how many of your company's business that I hid for you? I'm so nice. The reporters begged me to break the news but I rejected it all because I was scared. I should've just done it. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Why did I go there (YG building) on that day? You know, right? Oh, and please, live your age. Stop pretending to be an artist. You're just an ahjussi. Just absolutely ahjussi."[209][210]

T.O.P announced his departure from the band in 2023, one year after he left YG Entertainment, on Instagram several times stating things like "I'VE ALREADY TOLD YOU GUYS THAT I'M LEAVING AND I'M FACING NOW A NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE SINCE LAST YEAR" in the comments (he is known to post/announce weird stuff on Instagram).[211]

Han Seo Hee also ruined the careers and lives of B.I of iKON and Wonho of Monsta X among others which is why she is quite infamous among the fans of these bands.[212] She cyberbullied some other male idols as well. She seems quite untouchable due to her rich family though despite screaming profanities at judges.[213] At this point, fans are overly annoyed with her and just want her gone. She still frequently gets into scandals and leaves fans annoyed by stating things like "I kissed and hug your oppas." or just unhinged things.[214]

MAMA 2014

Example Fanworks



  • The Great Pretender by Ruinwyn on AO3 (Choi Seunghyun | T.O.P./Kwon Jiyong | G-Dragon): Seunghyun pretends to be Jiyong's boyfriend. At least, he thinks he's pretending.
  • Their Last Day by dragonghost on AO3 (Choi Seunghyun | T.O.P./Kwon Jiyong | G-Dragon): When is the last day of loving someone? Does that day ever come or do you love someone for life? Seunghyun is leaving the company and that means he's leaving Jiyong. A mix up of events inspired by the last few years.
  • Camera Shy by longleggedgit on LiveJournal (Kang Daesung/Choi Seunghyun | T.O.P.): T.O.P thinks he's fat. Daesung thinks he's stupid.
  • Tomorrow (and the Next Day) by themorningache on LiveJournal (Tablo of Epik High/Dong Youngbae | Taeyang): The shooting of Tomorrow, Tablo overthinking, sand-filled shoes, and Taeyang looking good in jeans.
  • From Here To There by quirke on LiveJournal (Choi Seunghyun | T.O.P/Park Bom): A one night stand. And a grand denial.
  • Young Blood by motteme on AO3 (Choi Seunghyun | T.O.P./Kwon Jiyong | G-Dragon; Kwon Jiyong | G-Dragon/Lee Chaerin | CL; Choi Seunghyun | T.O.P./Park Bom; Kim Hanbin | B.I/Kim Jiwon | Bobby): Jiyong (45) has been married for years now - he loves his wife Chaerin and his son Hanbin, but he also has a secret. Ever since he was young he knew that he fancied men and not women, but thanks to his homophobic surroundings since he was young, he never had the chance to come out and live the life he wanted and love someone with his whole heart without pretending. Seunghyun (46) is someone in a similar situation - married with a child, but on the contrary he did came out and lost his child to his, now, ex-wife. What will happen if they meet one day?
  • The Adventures of Daragon and Baby Mino by kisekiryouta on AO3 (Kwon Jiyong | G-Dragon/Park Sandara | Dara): Dara and Jiyong was chosen to participate in a new Korean Variety Show. Their mission? Act as a couple and take care of cute little babies. One certain baby is hell-bent on choosing the two of them, and it’s certainly going to be a wild ride for our santokki and dragon. (We Got Married x Return of Superman kinda story)
  • Heliotrope by cranperryjuice on LiveJournal (Kwon Jiyong | G-Dragon/Dong Youngbae | Taeyang): Young Bae is secretly not gay.

Fan initiatives

  • International V.I.Ps sent on July 23, 2020 a truck to YG Entertainment building demanding proper treatment for BIGBANG. V.I.Ps demanded YG Entertainment to protect BIGBANG from anti-fans on social media as well as to create websites that can connect the fandom with the company to give them a platform to report rumors made about BIGBANG. V.I.Ps also asked YG Entertainment to add English subtitles to all their music videos to cater to their international fans.[215]
  • Fans showing off cosplays at MADE VIP Fan Meeting in 2016[216]

Inside Jokes

  • Hmm, Smell (by Daesung)[217]
  • A lot of Seungri jokes didn't age well (e.g. YG CEO Seungri; drug fueled YG[218])



Official Accounts


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