Recently, MONSTA X’s I.M released a series of concept images ahead of his debut solo album DUALITY.
While fans were excited about his solo debut, some began to take notice that in one of his teaser photos he was wearing a shirt that had the phrase, “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” written in Arabic.
This sacred phrase, which means “In the name of Allah, the most gracious and the most merciful”, is used by Muslims.
Fans quickly began to post about this online asking Starship Entertainment to take the appropriate action by taking down the photos immediately.
Most recently, Starship issued a formal apology through MONSTA X’s official fan cafe about the controversy.
This is Starship Entertainment. In regards to the concept photos that were released for I.M’s digital mini-album ‘DUALITY’, we have taken down all the photos that include clothes with religious meanings. We regret not taking further measures to make sure that there were no religious implications in the concept photos in advance. We sincerely apologize to all who felt uncomfortable with our actions. Going forward, we ensure that we will make every effort to prevent something like this from happening again. Once again, we truly apologize for this.
— Starship Entertainment
Many fans were happy that Starship saw their mistake and quickly acted upon it.
With K-Pop becoming more global, it is important for companies to educate themselves on racial and religious topics as they continue to widen their audience.