Prosecution Demands Prison Sentences For

On May 12, the final hearing for the “Produce” series manipulation case was held at Seoul Central District Court.

Previously, Ahn Joon Young and Kim Yong Bum were suspected of manipulating viewers’ votes for “Produce 101.” Ahn Joon Young was also under suspicion of receiving money from entertainment agency representatives at an adult entertainment bar.

During the hearing, the prosecutors demanded three years in prison for producing director (PD) Ahn Joon Young and chief producer (CP) Kim Yong Bum. In addition, the prosecutors demanded two years in prison for assistant PD “Lee” and one year in prison for five agency employees and representatives.

The prosecutors made the request to the court, saying, “We thought about why the accusers remained angry even after 10 months of investigation and trials. First of all, the defendants stated that they were not seeking personal gain, but despite calling [the viewers] ‘national producers,’ they manipulated the debuting members with their personal opinions. They basically thought of the show as private property and regarded the viewers as unimportant.”

They continued, “The ‘Produce’ series gained popularity in various age groups because viewers felt vicarious satisfaction from the fairness of the [system] that supports hard-working trainees whose ranks rise in recognition of their skills regardless of whether or not they have agencies and the sizes of these agencies. As much of this turned out to be a fabrication, [viewers] must have felt a great sense of despondency and betrayal about the fairness of the world.”

Furthermore, the prosecutors added, “Now is a time when broadcasts not only reflect public opinion, but also create public opinion and lead the public. With this incident, we hope that broadcasting and media officials will not forget their responsibilities and play a good role in society.”

In the fourth trial that took place last month, Ahn Joon Young and Kim Yong Bum were accused of negotiating bribery, which both of them denied.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place on May 29.

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