“Produce 101” PD And CP Say Manipulation Was Due To Trainees Who Wanted To Leave + Deny Bribery
The first trial for the manipulation of the “Produce 101” series was held on February 7.
The eight defendants including PD (producing director) Ahn Joon Young, CP (chief producer) Kim Yong Bum, and PD Lee along with five former and current entertainment agency officials were all in attendance at the trial.
The production team members are being charged for manipulating vote results, and Ahn Joon Young is additionally being charged for receiving bribes of being treated at an adult entertainment establishment by entertainment agency representatives. The entertainment agency officials are being charged for offering bribes.
Through their lawyer, Ahn Joon Young and Kim Yong Bum admitted to manipulating text votes. However, the lawyer added that votes were manipulated due to trainees who wanted to leave the program.
The lawyer said, “Defendant Kim Yong Bum heard that a certain trainee in Season 2 did not want to be in the debut lineup, so he understood that as the trainee’s intent to leave and rose the rankings of the trainees who were ranked below him. Although it was not a transparent method, it was not due to personal interest or improper bribery.”
“Defendant Ahn Joon Young confirmed a certain trainee’s desire to leave in the first preliminary round of Season 1, so he took action after reporting to CP Kim Yong Bum and receiving approval. It was not due to bribery,” the lawyer continued.
Regarding the charge of Ahn Joon Young accepting bribes, the lawyer stated, “Ahn Joon Young admits to drinking with the entertainment agency officials, but he did not receive improper bribes. He does admit to violation of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act.”
Lawyers of the entertainment agency officials also said, “It is true that they treated him, but they did not bribe him. There were no motives to forcefully bribe. They only drank together as they are personally acquainted. There were also many separate gatherings unrelated to the program such as birthday celebrations.”
The second trial will be held on March 6 at 2 p.m. KST.