They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and today that picture is of HYBE‘s headquarters, located in Yongsan, Seoul.
The photo was taken by a passing BTS fan, who compared the lit-up HYBE building to several darkened buildings in the same area.
Although the fan’s sole intention was to share photos with friends, the images have since sparked a debate about “grind culture” in the workplace, particularly at HYBE headquarters.
Some netizens have accused HYBE of violating labor laws and overworking its employees by operating late into the night.
Korea has instituted a maximum 52 hour workweek by legal mandate. If they have people working at midnight, that is possibly horrific time management/illegal.
The CEO could be liable for criminal prosecution and max two years in prison for violation of the labor law. https://t.co/xmzmoacqgs
— John Yoo (@oniontaker) October 20, 2021
In a couple of years former employees are gonna come forward and reveal the awful working conditions they were forced into https://t.co/hiiV54EsAg
— brit ☾¹⁷₅ (@yudothispledis) October 19, 2021
Others have pointed out some possible environmental issues.
Many fans, however, are now defending HYBE, claiming that netizens are using topics such as burnout and climate change as an excuse to demonize the company and its artists.
The night lights at HYBE building really provoked the worse and obvious responses that these people are not concerned for the actual "issue" but more so, the fact that it's relative to BTS and they kept convincing themselves that BTS and Hybe are evil 💀
— ᶜʰᶦᵐ (@mygbebe) October 21, 2021
OP's innocent post really shows that kpop stans require very little (or any lmao) proof of wrongdoing to paint HYBE as monstrous. I remember the "and what nasty shit will they be doing?🤨" comments when the multiple basement levels for the building were revealed https://t.co/zsiMvLTBD9
— i put a taqueria on the roof⁷ (@tetebeanie) October 21, 2021
omg i clicked hybe bc it's no. 1 trending & what i see r people exaggerating this innocent post, thinking hybe is vi0lating smth for turning on their lights at night. mygod! r u like sick in the head? they work with global stars they keep up with the other side of the world https://t.co/6IKS2WbXFe
— halyura™️ (@knj_o_o) October 21, 2021
Others have pointed out that HYBE offers flexible hours and recreational facilities, such as a gym, that employees are free to use during (and outside of) their work hours.
ARMYs have since come up with an entertaining theory for why the lights were on. Read about it here: