ATTRAKT CEO Jeon Hong Joon’s mismanagement of HOTSHOT comes back into focus in the midst of the FIFTY FIFTY mess

The situation with FIFTY FIFTY has been honestly terrible to watch unfold as ATTRAKT/The Givers/SIAHN/Warner Music Korea duke it out in the court of public opinion and in literal court. The reality of the situation at the moment is ATTRAKT are winning the public relations battle rather handily, though it has also caused people to dig into the history of ATTRAKT’s CEO Jeon Hong Joon a bit, and that history is not great when it comes to a group with momentum.


Jeon Hong Joon was formerly the founder of K.O Sound back in 2007, which became Ardor & Able in 2015, and Star Crew in 2017.

Notably, the only group they seem to have been in charge of at the time is HOTSHOT, who debuted back in 2014. While they struggled to gain popularity initially, with fans complaining about lack of promotion, in 2017 members Roh Tae Hyun and Ha Sung Woon took the initiative and decided to participate in Broduce 101, with Ha Sung Woon eventually debuting in mega-group WANNA ONE and Roh Tae Hyun finishing 25th and joining Broduce 101-adjacent group JBJ (who did quite well in the seven months they were active).

So one would think that’s a perfect time to support those guys and push HOTSHOT into relevancy, right? Well, fans at the time found that even getting the company to acknowledge this was happening was difficult.

This is like two weeks after the show ended, which seems like a hell of period to go radio silent. Worse yet, they seemed almost pissed off that fans of Broduce 101 might give their group attention and become fans. And look, I get that survival show fans can be annoying, but it is literally insane to reject any kind of support for your nugu boy group, like just from a business point of view.

A Reddit post from six years ago has also been making the round on Twitter, basically talking about how not only incompetent the company was, but they were actively almost vindictive.

The Current Situation of Taehyun, Sungwoon, and Hotshot under Star Crew Ent (formerly Ador & Able)
by u/thinkstained in Broduce101

One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet is that those two weren’t even the only ones that had success on survival shows. Timoteo and Hojung were on The Unit, which had much less acclaim, but Hojung still finished third and debuted in UNB, while Timoteo barely missed out at 10th.

Now UNB wasn’t a sensation like WANNA ONE, but they still sold exponentially more than HOTSHOT had to that point in their two releases, so now Star Crew had at least three and probably four members out of six from HOTSHOT at that point who were helping to boost the group’s notoriety to levels previously unthinkable.

Obviously, Star Crew didn’t handle this well at all. They responded to all that momentum by giving HOTSHOT just one final comeback as five members in 2018, which didn’t sell amazing but did do seven times their previous high. Ha Sung Woon’s reported comeback to the group never materialized as they had him focus on solo stuff, and Star Crew basically just abandoned the group until they announced their disbandment in 2021. Notably, as soon as Ha Sung Woon could leave Star Crew, he did for BPM Entertainment.


So how does this impact the FIFTY FIFTY case? Well, it doesn’t, honestly. That’s a separate issue regardless of what ATTRAKT’s CEO has done in the past, and we’ll see how that shakes out.

That said, it’s not irrelevant as both sides are also clearly fighting a PR war at this point, and considering netizens are praising Jeon Hong Joon as a “saintly” CEO and that he’s selling the hell out of his pity party story to anybody who will listen, his actions with his other company towards his previous group certainly seem relevant to the discussion as they run counter to image he’s trying to project.

Quite frankly, one could easily argue that even by the admission of ATTRAKT’s side (in the Dispatch story) that it’s clear that FIFTY FIFTY were effectively a group run by The Givers, and that Jeon Hong Joon wasn’t involved much with/didn’t care about their progress. Doesn’t mean one has to change their take on the FIFTY FIFTY case since that’s a whole legal issue, but at the very least it should dispel the notion of him being some “good guy CEO” (a notion that’s always absurd) and stop people from seeing the mess through that lens.


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Thot Leader™