“Produce X 101” And “Idol School” Contestants Speak Up About Unfair Treatment
MBC News interviewed participants from “Produce X 101” and “Idol School” and found further examples of alleged unfairness in the shows.
“Produce X 101” is currently under police investigation for suspicions of vote manipulation along with all seasons of the “Produce 101” series, and reportedly so is “Idol School.” The police have conducted search and seizures of the CJ ENM offices and the company that managed the text message voting data for “Produce X 101.”
In the October 3 episode of MBC News, a trainee who appeared on “Produce X 101” was interviewed anonymously. He described how from the start, only some particular trainees were filmed and shown on air, and also some trainees knew a mission song in advance and practiced for it.
He stated that some of the contestants already knew a mission song because one of the trainees had shared the information. “We asked him about it and he said that his dance teacher had told him,” said the trainee.
The head of an entertainment agency also said that it was an open practice for the production team to have already chosen who they liked (known among viewers as “PD pick”). He said, “I heard people say things like, ‘It seems like a few agencies already knew the list’ and ‘It seems people were already aware of it.'”
A contestant on Mnet’s show “Idol School” also spoke with MBC about her experience. The trainees on the show were supposed to have been chosen through a first round of auditions, but she stated that many of the contestants had made it on the show without coming to the audition.
“When we did the audition, we were at a place with 3,000 applicants, but out of the 40 of us [students who appeared], only four went to the audition,” she said.
Noh Woong Rae, an assembly person and the chairperson of the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee, stated to MBC, “If CJ ENM is responsible as a broadcast company, then the person responsible has to attend the National Assembly inspection and clearly explain to the nation about the manipulation of this program.”
MBC reports that police are currently investigating to find out if unfair business deals took place with others such as entertainment agencies while choosing the contestants and manipulating the rankings for Mnet’s audition programs.