As soon as aespa debuted with their hit song, Black Mamba, the group faced a plagiarism controversy after it was mentioned that some scenes in the music video resembled the art of the visual artist, Timo Helgurt as well as the League of Legends group, K/DA.

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A while after the controversy, SM Entertainment released an official statement regarding the matter.

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Through Sports Kyunghyang, SM Entertainment clarified that they spoke with the artist and their agency themselves to discuss details of their creative process.

We contacted the artist and agency that were mentioned for a portion of the Black Mamba video and chatted about our planning process as well as the world behind the group.

— SM Entertainment

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| SMTOWN/YouTube

And as a result, the two parties agreed that there was no problem.

The artist and agency understood our planning and production process, and they confirmed that they have no objection against the scenes in question.

— SM Entertainment

Ahead of this statement, netizens demanded that SM Entertainment address the similarities of some scenes of Black Mamba to the art of the visual artist after the issue was raised by the artist himself.

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| @vacades/Instagram

The fact that many scenes were found to be similar added fuel to the controversy.