When the lineup for the 2019 MBC Music Festival was unveiled, allegations of discord between Big Hit Entertainment and MBC arose among social media and online communities. Because TXT and GFRIEND were not included in the lineup, many netizens suspected that MBC was exercising vengeful gapjil (Korean term for abuse of power) on them. TXT is part of Big Hit Entertainment along with BTS, while GFRIEND is under Source Music, which was acquired by Big Hit Entertainment in July.
Previously, it was announced that BTS would appear on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on December 31. MBC reportedly blocked TXT and GFRIEND from performing at the 2019 MBC Music Festival after this announcement was made. A source from MBC told OSEN, “I haven’t heard about the reason why TXT and GFRIEND are not appearing. However, many people were disappointed that BTS will not appear on the 2019 MBC Music Festival. The production team must especially be disappointed. [BTS] will appear on SBS’s and KBS’s year-end shows but not MBC’s, so there have been many contrasting opinions ever since the lineup was revealed.”
According to OSEN, multiple industry sources shared, “Ever since October, when BTS’s side told MBC that BTS would not be appearing on MBC’s year-end music festival, it has been difficult for singers associated with Big Hit Entertainment to appear on MBC. It is already an openly known fact in the industry.”
On December 26, a source from the 2019 MBC Music Festival shared in a telephone interview, “It is definitely not true that the reason why TXT and GFRIEND are not appearing in this year’s MBC Music Festival is due to BTS’s absence from the show. The casting decisions are made by the PD [producing director] in charge. BTS’s absence is due to their pre-arranged overseas schedule.”
Regarding the fact that TXT had not been part of the lineup for MBC’s “2020 Idol Star Athletics – New Year Special,” an MBC official said, “The producers of the two events are different, so that is completely unrelated.”
The 2019 MBC Music Festival will be held on December 31 at 8:55 p.m. KST.
Sources: Soompi, Naver & Naver