Korea Communications Standards Commission Fines CJ ENM For Vote Manipulation In “Produce 101” Series
The Korea Communications Standards Commission (hereafter KCSC) has made the decision to impose fines on CJ ENM for manipulating votes in their “Produce 101” series.
On July 22, the KCSC held a hearing to announce their decision on punitive measures against CJ ENM for tampering with results for their “Produce 101” audition program series. Through a unanimous vote, CJ ENM was sentenced with a fine, the highest form of punishment that can be enacted by the KCSC.
The KCSC explained their decision as they stated, “This will remain as a stain on Korean broadcasting history. The broadcasted program fooled and defrauded an engaged public. And they nullified the hard work of innocent contestants. This took place across four years from 2016, and the number of accomplices increased with every season. There was also a similar issue in a different audition program [“Idol School”], and the staff has been prosecuted without detention.”
They went on to state, “This cannot be seen as just one or two PDs (producing directors) acting on their own, and the responsibility lies in the broadcasting company for failing to have control over what went on internally. The broadcasting company must take an honest look at itself on why the staff went ahead with such actions, why other staff members looked the other way, and whether there is a corporate culture that influences people to stay silent in such matters.” They pointed out how the upper management of CJ ENM had attempted to avoid responsibility by placing full blame on the PD as they said, “If a system that roots out such issues is not put in place, it is only a matter of time before a similar incident occurs again.”
In response, a representative of CJ ENM stated, “We take responsibility as the production company and we are currently looking into measures to better ourselves. We apologize for causing such disappointment. We are deeply sorry. We have no excuses and we are responsible for this.”
The representative also stated, “We are currently aware of who were victims of the manipulation that took place. However, we believe that if we were to share details on this matter, it would lead to secondary damage, so we ask for your understanding on why we can’t disclose them.” When asked by the KCSC if they will taking steps to tackle the core of the issue, the representative stated, “We are reflecting and we will take steps to fix our errors.”
In May, PD Ahn Joon Young, CP (chief producer) Kim Yong Bum, and six entertainment agency representatives were sentenced for charges related to the “Produce 101” vote manipulation case. PD Ahn Joon Young and CP Kim Yong Bum, as well as the prosecution, have appealed the sentences, and are set to hold a second trial in the future.