Mnet’s Voting Scandal
South Korean police have arrested Produce X 101 program director (PD), Ahn Joon-young, who admitted manipulating the voting during an examination on Tuesday (5/11/2019). IZ*ONE and X1 idol groups born from the program were affected.
A new boy band from the third season of Produce 101, Produce X 101 was formed on broadcast dated July 19th, 2019. With the name X1, the boy band consisted of 11 people and was born based on the combined results of text voting and online voting on the final night. Paid online voting is sent by the audience during the program. After the final night of Produce X 101, fans compared the total voting of the winning trainees and suspected manipulation of the voting text. They saw a difference in the distance between the results of the trainees’ voting.
Mnet denies any speculation of voting manipulation in the final night of Produce X 101. A statement from a source from Mnet, “We are aware that there is a suspicion in the text voting. So we continue to check the data internally, but that does not exist at all. There is no problem with the text voting and there is no manipulation.” Following the controversy, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Cyber investigation team said they had received a written request to investigate Mnet. They have also begun an internal investigation into the Produce X 101 program regarding the alleged manipulation.
The police conducted a search and seizure at the Produce X 101 office. The police then secured the belongings from the office of the staff at the CJ Entertainment building in Sangam, South Korea. In the midst of controversy, the boy band formed by Produce X 101, X1, still made its debut. After being selected from the Produce X 101 audition, eleven members who joined the X1 debuted with the song “Flash” from the mini-album Quantum Leap and released their music video. However, as the case of manipulation progressed, many requested X1 to be dissolved.
“We are investigating the fourth season (Produce X 101) of the Produce 101 series, we are also looking for whether there have been similar violations in the previous three seasons,” police said quoted from Soompi, Monday (11/02/2019). The first season began with the name Produce 101, Produce 101 season 2, and the third Produce 48. Report from SpoTV News, the police have also visited and investigated several agencies whose trainees have participated in Produce 48. From the Produce 48 audition, the girl group IZ*ONE was born that has 12 members and debuted on October 29th, 2018, with the song “La Vie en Rose.”
The police are suspicious of the producers, one of whom is PD Ahn Joon-young. “We have checked the bank accounts of the producers. There are still interests to be sought so we cannot confirm whether or not there is a money transaction,” the police said. On November 5th, 2019, the Seoul Central District Court examined whether the arrest warrant was made valid. In the afternoon, Chief Judge Myung Jae-kwon made a final decision that the arrest warrant for Ahn Joon-young was considered legal and an arrest was made. Ahn Joon-young then confessed to voting manipulation. Another producer Kim Yong-bum was also arrested by the police.
The Impact of Voting Manipulation Controversy On X1
- X1 lost the CF contract, magazine shoots, and shooting variety shows
- News circulated that said that X1 had not officially signed a contract with CJ E&M
- Another news says X1 members have not been paid at all even though it has been three months since they debuted
- The mentality of the members of X1 was also affected by this problem until a group dissolution plan emerged
X1’s Future Schedule
X1 and CJ E&M are reported to have held discussions to discuss their plans going forward. On Wednesday (11/20/2019), Joy News 24 reported that CJ E&M had a closed meeting with X1 members on November 15th, 2019. The meeting coincided with the cancellation of the X1 appearance at the award event V LIVE Awards V HEARTBEAT 2019.
According to reports, CJ E&M staff asked X1 members if they wanted to stay together as a group. However, because each member has a different opinion, they have not been able to reach an agreement. CJ E&M also contacted the members’ agencies after the meeting and said, “If the members want, we will keep X1 as a group.”
Representatives from X1 then confirmed the matter of the meeting, “It’s true that CJ E&M had a meeting with X1 members.” While representatives from CJ E&M said, “It’s true that we had a meeting with members. We have also contacted their agency. Whether X1 will continue their activities as a group will be discussed carefully with members and related parties.”
Previously, PD Ahn Joon-young had admitted that he did manipulate the results of the voting program Produce X 101, so many Korean netizens had requested that X1 stop their activities in the entertainment world.
|“Like Always” (웃을 때 제일 예뻐)||2019||Emergency: Quantum Leap|
|“U Got It” (X1 version)|
|“I’m Here for You” (괜찮아요)|
|“Move” (움직여) (X1 version)|
|“Stand Up” (intro)|
|2019||Mnet||Produce X 101|
The television network Mnet announced that boy band X1 and girl group IZ*ONE will not attend or host the 2019 Mnet Asia Music Awards (MAMA) which will take place on December 4th, 2019. On Tuesday (11/26/2019), Mnet released a line of musicians and artists who will perform at MAMA 2019. In the row of names, there are no names IZ*ONE and X1, because of the Produce X 101 scandal that produced the two groups.
“Hello, we are Mnet. We are very pleased to announce the appearance of the artist at MAMA 2019 on December 4th,” read the statement from Mnet. “IZ*ONE will not appear at MAMA 2019. We are very sorry for the fans who have been waiting for the appearance of IZ*ONE,” they continued. “We also received many questions about X1. X1 also will not appear at the MAMA 2019. We sincerely apologize for the controversy caused by our program [Produce X 101],” the statement said.
The cancellation of this X1 appearance became the second time after previously Mnet canceled the group’s scheduled appearance at HEARTBEAT V Live Awards 2019. The cancellation was delivered directly by Mnet as the cable television network that aired Produce X 101. Thus, X1 is currently called as having no schedule to appear. Mnet apologized again to fans who had been waiting for X1’s appearance at the 2019 V HEARTBEAT V Live Awards.
Initially, X1 was said to be still appearing in the HEARTBEAT V Live Awards 2019 amid legal issues that ensnared the survival show Produce X 101. After the announcement of X1 and IZ*ONE’s canceled appearance, MAMA 2019 so far will still star many musicians such as MONSTA X, SEVENTEEN, MAMAMOO, and solo artist Chung-ha.
MAMA 2019 will take place on December 4th, at Nagoya Dome, Japan.
That was all the information about Mnet’s latest boy band from Produce X 101 – X1. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the section below!