In February, the singer and her agency took to social media to announce the ‘Sunmiya Club’ project, which was created in collaboration with Fingerlabs. The project revolves around an online community where membership holders are issued digital assets featuring the star such, which can then be traded and sold.
— Miyayeah (@miyaohyeah) February 22, 2022
However, fans of the idol (known as Miyane) have since criticised both Sunmi and her agency’s decision to release NFTs, with many of them citing the potential negative repercussions the digital assets have on the environment. They also alleged that those purchasing her NFTs are unlikely to be fans of Sunmi herself, but investors looking to profit off of her fans.
Yesterday (February 28), Abyss Company shared a statement on Twitter apologising for “not announc[ing their NFT plans] in advance and any confusion it might have caused.” However, it did not directly address the fans’ concerns, instead writing that it hoped to “show Sunmi’s colourful sides as a singer and producer” through the project.
‘선미야 클럽’ NFT 관련 안내 pic.twitter.com/IkBhr0imNZ
— 선미 SUNMI (@official_sunmi_) February 28, 2022
Soon after, Sunmi also shared a personal post on fan community site Weverse, seemingly in response to the backlash she has been receiving from the project, although she did not directly mention the controversy. “At times, my decisions, thoughts and directions have hurt you and disappointed you. But don’t you know me well?” she wrote.
“I want to do something better for you. I want to do more, and show you more,” Sunmi added. “For you guys, I will continue to stand on stage. If you get hurt and tired, you can leave. I will just stay on stage, so if you miss me sometimes, please come back then.”
Fans have since expressed their disappointment towards both Abyss’ and Sunmi’s responses. One Twitter user wrote that they hoped for the agency to focus on Sunmi and her existing fans, instead of “trying to shift the fandom to a demographic that naturally doesn’t persist within the Miyane environment.”
We hope that moving forward you will put the focus on SUNMI and the existing Miyane rather than trying to shift the fandom to a demographic that naturally doesn’t persist within the Miyane environment.
Please make more effort to protect and defend your artist, too.
— Sunmi Union (@Sunmi_Union) February 28, 2022
just a bunch of lies, NFTs are NOT needed to further support an artist. Sunmi already has a lot of fans who genuinely enjoy her music and personality. NOBODY asked or wanted this, Abyss is just being greedy https://t.co/cZKi4T6iBt
— Quarantine Lil(SAINTS ROW ERA) BLM (@lil_drawsart) February 28, 2022
At first I was sad that I can’t support sunmi anymore but if making shitty randomly-generated nfts is “creative” and “progressive” then I will gladly never consume any content from her in the future https://t.co/8tbFefKcqI
— stella (@stalkobliin) February 28, 2022
Several fans have also called for a boycott of Sunmi’s music, and announced that they would be withdrawing their support for her future releases. Meanwhile, others pointed out that fans who have previously purchased a Weverse membership have yet to receive any notable benefits, while the agency has already shifted its focus to the ‘Sunmiya Club’.
Last November, fans of BTS threatened to boycott HYBE over its own NFT announcement. Many had pointed out the potential negative impacts NFTs pose to the environment, noting that it could be seen a contradictory to the boyband’s previous UN speech where they described climate change as “an important problem”.