“Produce X 101” Viewers File Lawsuit Against The Show + Request Thorough Investigation
A large number of “Produce X 101” viewers have come together to formally file a legal complaint against the program regarding suspicions of vote manipulation.
On August 1, a representative of MAST Law & Consulting announced that 272 viewers of the show—all of whom had paid to vote by text messaging during the program’s live finale—would be filing a lawsuit later that morning.
The representative officially stated, “Today, a total of 272 ‘Produce X 101′ viewers will be filing a formal lawsuit and legal complaint against [the show] regarding suspicions of vote manipulation at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office at 11 a.m.”
According to MAST Law & Consulting, the plaintiffs are “Produce X 101” viewers who paid to participate in the show’s text voting during the live finale on July 19. The viewers have pointed to the fact that all of the top 20 contestants’ final vote counts were multiples of 7494.442—a statistically unlikely result—as evidence of vote manipulation.
Although the producers of the “Produce X 101” have acknowledged that there were errors in the final vote counts, they claimed that those errors had no effect on the final rankings of the contestants. When asked to reveal the correct total vote counts, they stated that it was difficult for them to verify the actual numbers, and Mnet subsequently requested that the police begin an investigation into the show.
The 272 plaintiffs stated in their official complaint, “The above voting results appear far too unnatural to be the result of the one-week online voting and the text votes, of which there were over 1.4 million. It seems reasonable to suspect that the released voting results might be different from the actual voting results.”
They added, “If [the show] had simply released the raw data of the voting results from the beginning of this controversy, there would not have been any problem.”
“Because the subject of the program is ‘the nation’s producers personally selecting idols,’ any corrupt interference with the votes is in itself deception of the program’s viewers and supporters,” they continued. “As the producers have admitted that there were errors in calculating the total numbers of votes, it is their duty to prove that [it was error and not vote manipulation] with convincing evidence.”
Finally, the plaintiffs stated, “We are hoping to prevent [similar incidents] in the future by clearly uncovering the truth about these suspicions of vote manipulation. Accordingly, we urge the prosecutors’ office to thoroughly investigate the matter and deliver a strict punishment.”
Meanwhile, as part of their investigations into the alleged vote manipulation, the police conducted a search and seizure of the “Produce X 101” offices on July 31.