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n the world of K-pop, where innovation is key to grabbing the spotlight, newcomers NINE.I recently found themselves at the center of a controversy. This rookie group, under the wings of FirstOne Entertainment, made waves with their debut prologue film. However, the film’s inclusion of sensitive historical imagery raised eyebrows and led to backlash from netizens. Let’s delve into the NINE.I controversy and its aftermath.


The Debut that Turned Heads

NINE.I, a group comprised of members Jewon, Eden, Winnie, Minjun, Vahn, Vari, Seowon, Taehun, Joohyung, and Jiho, sought to create a unique identity in the crowded K-pop scene. Their concept, titled “The Birth of New Algorithm,” aimed to blend futuristic themes with historical events.


The Backlash Begins

The trouble started when the debut prologue film included frames featuring sensitive historical moments, such as the Holocaust and the American Civil War, as well as hints of black oppression. Netizens swiftly expressed their disapproval, accusing the group of exploiting these poignant subjects for the sake of “innovative aesthetics.”


Company’s Swift Response

In response to the mounting criticism, FirstOne Entertainment took immediate action. They removed the controversial clips from the video and issued a public apology on YouTube. The company acknowledged that they had not shown enough consideration in their video production and expressed deep regret for using images of “historical events and figures” without due sensitivity.


Reactions from the Online Community

Reddit users chimed in with their thoughts on the controversy. One user noted that while the video had intriguing aspects, the use of inappropriate imagery overshadowed the group’s potential. Another user shared a similar sentiment, drawing a parallel with past instances of controversial imagery in K-pop music videos. Some users accepted the company’s apology, while others remained skeptical and hoped for greater consistency from K-pop fans in holding companies accountable.



NINE.I’s debut controversy serves as a reminder of the fine line between innovation and insensitivity in the world of K-pop. While the group’s unique concept initially captured attention, it was marred by the inappropriate use of historical imagery. FirstOne Entertainment’s swift response and apology indicate a commitment to learning from their mistakes. As NINE.I continues its journey in the K-pop industry, it remains to be seen whether this misstep will have a lasting impact on their career or if fans will forgive and move on.