Police Conducting Intensified Search And Seizure Of CJ ENM After “Idol School” Vote Manipulation Suspicions
The police have reportedly conducted an intensified search and seizure of CJ ENM over suspicions of vote manipulation in Mnet’s survival shows.
On the afternoon of October 24, outlet MyDaily reported that the police were in the process of conducting a search and seizure on the CJ ENM network building located in the neighborhood of Sangam in Seoul. CJ ENM is the company that owns Mnet, and it was reported that the investigation was in regards to matters such as suspicions of vote manipulation in “Produce X 101.” The investigation has reportedly intensified, with measures taken such as sending employees out of the building.
Mnet responded to the report by telling outlet Maeil Kyungjae, “Since the police’s investigation is ongoing, we cannot know the exact details.”
Later on that day, it was reported by Joongang Ilbo that the investigation was in regards to the show “Idol School.” A representative from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s cyber investigation unit has reportedly shared that a search and seizure of CJ ENM was conducted starting at 3 p.m. KST on October 24. The search and seizure is said to have been conducted because something was discovered that needed to be confirmed after the September 21 search and seizure related to vote manipulation in “Idol School.”
Following the finale of “Produce X 101,” unexpected similarities between the gaps in the winners’ announced voting totals led to suspicions that the votes had been manipulated. The online vote totals for earlier rounds of the show have also been called into question.
The police have been conducting an investigation into the matter for about three months, which has included two previous searches and seizures of the CJ ENM building, the collection of testimony from staff, conducting searches and seizures of entertainment agencies of contestants, and more. The police recently began investigating the possibility that the producing directors of the show manipulated votes for monetary compensation.
This led to investigations being carried out in response to suspicions of vote manipulation in other survival shows produced by Mnet including “Idol School” and the previous seasons of “Produce 101.” Viewers of “Idol School” have expressed suspicions about the vote totals announced in the finale of the show. After the finale in 2017, fans found that the totals revealed for trainee Lee Hae In did not match the number of votes sent in by fans.