SM Entertainment Under Fire For “Disrespecting Islam” With NCT U Merch

Fans are demanding an apology and more for cultural appropriation.

SM Entertainment has found itself in hot water for marketing NCT U merchandise that appropriates Islamic culture, according to fans.

| SMTOWN/Youtube

Fans began tweeting the hashtag #SMStopDisrespectingIslam shortly after the agency unveiled new merch items for NCT U‘s “Make A Wish (Birthday Song)”: this pin…

| @SMTOWNANDSTORE/Twitter

…and these pop-up displays.

| @SMTOWNANDSTORE/Twitter

| @SMTOWNANDSTORE/Twitter

Fans are taking issue with the merch’s mosque designs and the ornate cube that closely resembles The Kaaba. The Kaaba is a sacred place of worship, located in Islam’s most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time NCT U’s “Make A Wish (Birthday Song)” has received backlash. The stage sets for NCT U’s music video and live performances have been criticized for resembling mosques.

| SMTOWN/Youtube

| SMTOWN/Youtube

During one stage, a backdrop featured text from a sacred Muslim prayer.

On Twitter, fans are expressing their frustration with SM Entertainment, demanding an apology for the “Make A Wish (Birthday Song)” concept, and calling for the agency to educate themselves about cultural appropriation. Some fans are also asking others to help trend #SMStopDisrespectingIslam to help them call attention to the ongoing issue.

NCT