“Produce 101” Season 1 And 2 Trainees + Manager Share Thoughts About Vote Manipulation Controversy

SBS’s “Night of Real Entertainment” spoke with trainees from “Produce 101” and “Produce 101 Season 2,” as well as a trainee’s manager, about the recent vote manipulation controversy.

Season 2 contestant Jung Dong Soo recently spoke up about the manipulation on Instagram and has also been interviewed by MBC’s “Section TV” (along with fellow contestant Kim Nam Hyung) about what they noticed while competing on the show.

On the December 10 episode of “Night of Real Entertainment,” Jung Dong Soo was asked in an interview about what he felt when he first heard that the show had been manipulated. He replied that he’d known that it was something that would come to light eventually.

“To be honest, I heard people say a lot that there were already members decided on and the show was designed for them,” he went on to say. “I feel upset about it because it could have been meaningless for the contestants who worked so hard.”

“I think the question of ‘Who debuted and who should have debuted?’ is honestly meaningless,” he said. “Every single person was used. On the show, no one could have achieved something because of their determination to do so. All we could do was work hard. It was an innocent way of thinking, of course. We wanted to be great singers. There was absolutely no one on the show who was approaching it with the mindset of, ‘I’m going to do something wrong and step on others to get to the top.’ We have no power, so if we want to achieve our dream, all we can do is do what the agency or the network tells us to do.”

“Night of Real Entertainment” also talked to a contestant from the first season, who requested anonymity. She said, “To be honest, I’d wondered a bit, ‘How did she make it in here?’ If there’s really someone who’s suffered because of ranking manipulation, then it would be very unfair. I think it’s such a sad situation and not something that could be made up for with any kind of compensation.”

The show interviewed a manager of another contestant from season one of the series. He said, “I had doubts about something, of course. But when I mentioned it without thinking, I was harassed, so I wasn’t able to talk about it.”

Following an investigation into the “Produce 101” series, eight people including producers and entertainment agency executives have been indicted. The written indictment reportedly states that one of the members of Wanna One was chosen for the group based on ranking manipulation, while both “Produce 101” and “Produce 101 Season 2” included the switching of rankings of trainees in earlier rounds. In addition, the full lineups of “Produce 48” group IZ*ONE and “Produce X 101” group X1 were reportedly determined by producers before voting for the finale began.

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