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The boy group NCT, a global sensation, is now embroiled in a significant controversy. Their label, SM Entertainment, recently unveiled a collaboration with Starbucks Korea, a move that has ignited a fierce debate and even a boycott, with the exception of member Taeyong.

On Friday, fans called a massive boycott, criticizing members of NCT for choosing to collaborate with the Starbucks brand amid the ongoing violence against the Middle East, particularly Palestine, with the coffee company, which stood as a “pro-Israel.”

On Thursday, Starbucks Korea announced an exclusive collaboration with NCT from May 30 to July 4. Starbucks Korea is described as a separate entity from the main Starbucks. Retail giant Emart holds 67.5 percent of the shares, with the remaining owned by Singapore’s GIC sovereign wealth fund. The collaborative items, including food and merchandise, will be exclusively available in Korea.

With the massive boycott, people await Starbucks Korea’s explanation as to whether or not it stood with Israel. Still, NCT members have been losing thousands of followers on social media. On Twitter, now known as X, the #SM_boycott_genocide is currently trending.

Amid this call for boycott, member Taeyong uploaded a short Instagram story with the word “Boycott” on Thursday evening. Though he didn’t refer to anything specific, his post was taken down ten minutes later. Still, international fans have applauded him for his courage to call for a boycott.

NCT member Taeyeong is currently serving his mandatory military service and is set to be discharged in December 2025.

If you want to know more about the ongoing conflict, you can follow accounts like @Eye.on.Palestine, Human Rights Watch, and Al Jazeera, which actively follow this issue. 

Source: Korea Joon Ang Daily

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