Mnet has released a formal statement in response to the similarities between “Produce 101” and the Chinese show “Idol Producer.”
“Idol Producer,” which is produced by Chinese online video platform iQiyi, is a survival program featuring 100 male trainees from various agencies competing for the chance to debut as one of the nine members in an idol group. As in “Produce 101,” the final members will be selected through an online voting system.
Even before its premiere, “Idol Producer” was accused of plagiarizing the format—as well as the blue triangle logo—of “Produce 101,” drawing criticism for not purchasing the official rights to the show. However, the controversy continued to grow after the first episode aired on January 19, with viewers taking note of the many similarities between the two programs’ structures, sets, and production.
In response, Mnet posted an official statement to its website in Chinese, clarifying that it had no involvement in the production of “Idol Producer.”
The network wrote, “The format of the variety program ‘Idol Producer,’ which is currently airing on iQiyi, features many elements that strongly resemble ‘Produce 101,’ including its premise, structure, system, and visual design. This has created misunderstandings and speculation amongst both figures within the industry and viewers who are interested in ‘Produce 101.’
“After taking this into consideration, Mnet is formally clarifying that it did not participate in the production of iQiyi’s ‘Idol Producer’ in any way, nor did it collaborate with the program in any fashion.”
Mnet added, “At the same time, we would like to express that we consider the matter of infringement of Mnet’s critical intellectual property rights to be deeply unfortunate.”
Meanwhile, “Idol Producer” has not yet responded to the growing allegations of plagiarism.