RIIZE’s Official Lightstick Caught Up In Unexpected “Plagiarism” Claims


Fifth-generation boy group RIIZE is on its way to releasing its official lightstick, but netizens are not too thrilled.

RIIZE | @RIIZE_official/Twitter

On March 5, KST, the official social media channels of the group posted a teaser photo of the upcoming lightstick, showing the silhouette of the design. From the preview picture, it seems that the merchandise is designed to look like a hand with the index finger and the thumb pointing upward.

RIIZE OFFICIAL FANLIGHT will be released in April. pic.twitter.com/iObRRjPZLR

— RIIZE (@RIIZE_official) March 5, 2024

The design is inspired by the signature gesture used by the group’s members and also looks like an inverted seven, which is the original number of members in the group. However, soon after the preview was released, fans flocked to clown the design for its cartoonish vibe and overall lack of elegance like other groups’ lightsticks. But some netizens also found the design similar to that of a senior group’s lightstick.

라이즈 팬콘 pic.twitter.com/KHpHxbDejj

— ✹ (@jicobas) March 5, 2024

The group in question is Epik High, the legendary Korean Hip-Hop trio who released their first-ever official lightstick only last year. A brainchild of the group itself, this lightstick is lovingly named the “Pak Gyu Bong” (which sounds like “f*ck you bong”) and is shaped like a cartoonish hand with the middle finger up.

@grrkakakak/Twitter Epik High’s concert in December last year | @duroong_/Twitter

On the popular online community, TheQoo, a netizen pointed out that the RIIZE lightstick looked way too similar to the Pak Gyu Bong, adding that though RIIZE’s signature pose is just the index finger up, the lightstick also has the thumb sticking out, probably to intentionally avoid it looking even more like the Epik high lightstick.

| theqoo

The post went viral quickly, with many agreeing that the design was “plagiarized,” though a lot of netizens’ criticism seemed to be motivated by the desperation to have SM Entertainment alter the RIIZE lightstick design.

| theqoo “This is really not done…I looked forward to the lightsticks so much…” “Woah…this is plagiarism. Change it!!!” “The large companies have no morals…if you have a conscience, change it quickly!!!” “Change it asap!! LOL.” “This is ugly!!!!!” “This is plagiarism. Let’s change it.” “It’s plagiarism!!! Change it right now!!!” “Ah, right. This is definitely plagiarism.” “Yeah, this is definitely plagiarism…How could they do something like that? You’re telling me they plagiarized a lightstick? (This is how it’s supposed to be done, right?)”

From the comments under the post, it is clear that most netizens are less concerned with the “plagiarism” claims, and more with how to utilize it to push for a change in design. Full points for creativity!

 Netizens support it in an entirely unserious manner. 

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