Mnet Responds To Report Claiming “Produce X 101” Eliminated Trainees Were Offered Chance To Debut With X1
Mnet has responded to reports that eliminated trainees from “Produce X 101” were given the opportunity to debut with X1, following accusations of vote rigging.
The network previously issued a statement to apologize for the controversy surrounding suspicions of vote manipulation in the “Produce X 101” finale and included an explanation for the identical gaps between the trainees’ votes. As criticism and doubt continued, Mnet announced on July 26 that they have requested that an investigative agency look into the controversy over the vote counts.
On the evening of July 26, the news outlet Maeil Business reported that according to several sources in the entertainment industry, a high-level staff member at Mnet spoke with the agencies of the nine contestants who were eliminated during the July 19 live finale. The staff member allegedly told the agencies that if a trainee was not satisfied with the voting results, they would be included in the debut lineup for X1. It was also said that if the eliminated trainees were to form their own group amongst themselves, Mnet would support that as well.
Maeil Business stated that after meeting with Mnet, all the agencies turned down the suggestion. A source from an unnamed agency stated, “If we were to accept this offer, it would make it seem like we acknowledge that there was manipulation of the votes and also that we tolerate that, and so we turned it down.” A source from another agency stated, “This is a plan that would hurt not only the eliminated trainees but also the trainees who were decided to debut with X1.” They added, “This would disaffirm the reliability of the final episode.”
A source from Mnet responded to this report while speaking with outlet News1 later that day, and they said that the report was an exaggeration of what had taken place.
“We met with agency representatives today to explain that we will be requesting a formal investigation regarding the vote manipulation controversy,” the Mnet source stated. “At the meeting, we heard their opinions on how it should be dealt with if the investigation finds that there was an unexpected victim.”
In regards to the initial report stating that it was a means of conciliation, Mnet said, “Saying it was conciliation would mean that we had decided on conditions and stopped them from talking, but that is not true at all.”
The source continued, “We asked for the agencies’ opinions about what they wanted if an unexpected victim were to be found — whether they would want them to be added to X1 or if they wanted them to debut in another group.” They stated that this was intended as one way to find what measures should be taken to avoid any unexpected victim being hurt.
In regards to the report stating that all of the agencies had rejected the offer, the source said, “Each of the agencies had different opinions.”
They stated finally, “The most important thing is that the trainees and agency staff are not hurt.” They added, “We hope that there will not be misunderstandings due to exaggerations.”