Korea Communications Standards Commission Announces Total Of Fine For “Produce 101” Series Vote Manipulation
The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) has made its decision on the fine for vote manipulation in Mnet’s “Produce 101” series.
Back in August, the KCSC announced that fines would be imposed on all four seasons of the “Produce 101” series for “an unprecedented level of manipulation.” This is the KCSC’s highest level of sanction possible.
Following the finale of “Produce X 101” in July 2019, the show came under fire for apparent rigging of viewers’ paid votes that determined the final group lineup. An investigation uncovered evidence of vote manipulation in each of the four seasons of the show. The KCSC stated in August, “Not only did they manipulate the results, deceive the viewers, and obstruct fair public perception, but the most serious issue is the betrayal of the hard work of the participants in the audition program.” It was announced at the time that the fine amount would be decided later on.
During a meeting on September 14, the KCSC decided on a fine of 30 million won (approximately $25,400) for each of the seasons of the show (“Produce 101,” “Produce 101 Season 2,” “Produce 48,” and “Produce X 101”), which is the maximum fine that they can impose according to current law. This means a total fine of 120 million won (approximately $101,500) for the series as a whole.
The KCSC stated, “In addition to the severe damage done to the viewers and participants, it is a serious problem that the network did not have any verification system in place, despite almost four years of systematic manipulation of the results of viewer votes.”
In May, producing director Ahn Joon Young, chief producer Kim Yong Bum, and six entertainment agency representatives were sentenced for charges related to the “Produce 101” vote manipulation case. Ahn Joon Young and Kim Yong Bum, as well as the prosecution, have appealed the sentences, and the second trial is ongoing.