Mnet Responds To Speculations Of “Produce X 101” Vote Manipulation
Mnet has denied any truth to the rumors of vote manipulation in the live finale of “Produce X 101.”
The 11 members of the new boy group X1 were determined in the July 19 broadcast through a combination of online votes and text votes that were sent in by fans during the show. Kim Yo Han took first place and the center position, with fellow X1 members including Kim Woo Seok, Han Seung Woo, Song Hyeong Jun, Cho Seung Youn, Son Dong Pyo, Lee Han Gyul, Nam Do Hyon, Cha Jun Ho, Kang Min Hee, and Lee Eun Sang. The first 10 members were decided through the latest round of online voting and text votes, while Lee Eun Sang joined the group as the “X” after receiving the next highest accumulated votes throughout the season.
Following the show, some fans speculated that there had been manipulation of the text votes after they compared the announced vote totals of the winning trainees. The speculations center on the similarities between the gaps in votes between trainees. For example, there are five voting gaps between contestants that all come to 29,978 votes —between No. 1 (1,334,011) and No. 2 (1,304,033), No. 3 (1,079,200) and No. 4 (1,049,222), No. 6 (824,389) and No. 7 (794,411), No. 7 and No. 8 (764,433), and No. 10 (749,444) and No. 11 (719,466). There are other combinations of voting gaps that also match each other.
Many people have been calling for a response from Mnet, particularly as fans paid a fee to send in their text votes.
On July 22, it was reported by Ilgan Sports that a source from Mnet stated, “We are aware that there are suspicions regarding the text votes. So we internally kept checking the data, but there was no issue at all.” They added, “There was no issue with the text voting and no manipulation.”
“It’s interesting that the vote gap repeated several times, but that is the score as is, so there is nothing to say,” they stated. “It seems that the suspicions would not subside even if we were to release an official statement, so I don’t think one will be released.”
Fans To Take Legal Action Against “Produce X 101” On Suspicions Of Vote Manipulation
Fans previously raised speculation about the potential manipulation of text votes sent to Mnet’s “Produce X 101,” and they are now gearing up to take legal action.
On July 24, lawyer Goo Hye Min of MAST Law & Consulting revealed that she will be the legal representative for a fan committee that was formed to uncover the truth behind the “Produce X 101” voting. The committee has been raising funds to prepare for the lawsuit.
The lawyer stated to Money Today TheL, “Sometime next week, we will file a complaint to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office against the ‘Produce X 101’ staff on charges such as fraud and interference with business. Several charges are being mentioned currently, and we are reviewing a wide range of potential issues we can bring up, rather than focusing on just a few charges.”
Lawyer Lee Ji Yoon of the Korea Communications Commission additionally explained, “If it is revealed that there was corrupt solicitation between entertainment agencies and [‘Produce X 101’] production staff that led to the manipulation of votes, the law on occupational breach of trust can be applied as well.”
According to Money Today TheL, the manipulation of votes could also be a violation of some of the clauses in the Broadcasting Act. Article 5 (Public Responsibility of Broadcasting) and Article 6 (Impartiality and Public Interest of Broadcasting) state that a broadcast must abide by the fundamental democratic order and be impartial.
Furthermore, some fans claim that because viewers were charged 100 won (approximately $0.08) for each text vote, the manipulation of these votes could be considered fraud. However, the Korean law on fraud states that there must be evidence of the perpetrator’s intention to deceive the victims, and it may be difficult to prove this point.
Regarding the recent turn of events, a source from Mnet stated to news outlet Sports Today, “[We] are aware that some fans of ‘Produce X 101’ will be filing a complaint to the prosecution. We do not have an official statement.”
“Produce X 101” Releases Official Explanation Regarding Controversy Over Vote Counts
An official statement has been released to explain the controversy over vote counts for the “Produce X 101” finale.
On July 24, “Produce X 101” shared the following statement via social media:
This is an announcement regarding the controversy over the gaps in total votes for the “Produce X 101” live show.
First of all, as the production staff in charge, we express sincere apologies for causing controversy over the “Produce X 101” text votes.
During the [July] 19 live show, “Produce X 101” revealed the total numbers of individual votes based on combined online pre-votes and live text votes when announcing each of the 11 members who will debut.
Following the broadcast, the “Produce X 101” production staff recognized that the gaps in votes between some of the trainees are identical. After checking, we discovered that although there are no issues with the total ranking, there were errors in the process of calculating and relaying the total numbers of individual votes.
This is an explanation regarding the identical gaps in votes between the trainees.
The “Produce X 101” staff in charge of calculating the votes during the live show validated the rankings via multiple methods by recording the rankings based on vote counts and also calculating based on the percentage of each trainee’s votes. However, in the process of validating the rankings, this staff rounded the vote percentages up to two decimal places, and the vote counts that were converted from the vote percentages were relayed to the live show.
We once again confirm that there were no changes in the rankings in this process.
We once again apologize to all of the national producers who supported and voted for “Produce X 101” and also to the trainees and related parties.
We will improve our text voting system and calculation system to prevent this problem from occurring again the future.
Our production staff will put in our full effort to produce more transparent and fair programs in the future.
“Produce X 101” Fans Raise 100 Million Won To Promote BY9 With Hopes For Their Debut
The fan-imagined group BY9 continues to gain support for their potential debut!
After the “Produce X 101” finale on July 19, fans of the nine trainees from the Top 20 who did not make the final group X1 came up with the idea of the eliminated contestants all promoting together as their own group. The nine members of this fan-imagined group tentatively known as BY9 are Lee Jin Hyuk, Kim Min Kyu, Koo Jung Mo, Hwang Yun Seong, Keum Dong Hyun, Tony, Song Yu Vin, Ham Won Jin, and Lee Se Jin.
As in previous years with project groups of eliminated trainees first imagined by fans such as JBJ and RAINZ, BY9 fans have gone to great lengths to promote the idea of the group. They’ve designed everything from teaser videos and logos to even light sticks.
On July 23, the keyword “BY9 100 million” trended on a portal site’s list of realtime search terms after fans reached a donation goal of 100 million won (approximately $85,000). It’s said that the money will be used to raise awareness about the group through subway advertisements and more.
“Produce X 101” And Jellyfish Entertainment Respond To Reports Of Spin-Off Group BY9 Making Debut
On July 24, Joy News 24 released a report stating that “Produce X 101” spin-off group BY9 may become reality.
BY9 is the tentative name of a fan-imagined group that includes eliminated “Produce X 101” contestants Lee Jin Hyuk, Kim Min Kyu, Koo Jung Mo, Hwang Yun Seong, Keum Dong Hyun, Tony, Song Yu Vin, Ham Won Jin, and Lee Se Jin.
Several sources from the industry shared that CJ ENM began discussing the possibility of launching another group from “Produce X 101” after the creation of X1. Joy News 24’s report states that on July 23, CJ ENM made the decision to launch BY9 and that Jellyfish Entertainment will be in charge of its management.
An industry source also stated to Joy News 24, “BY9 has been confirmed to debut through a collaboration between CJ ENM and Jellyfish Entertainment. The heads of each agency will gather soon to discuss BY9’s debut.”
However, a source from Jellyfish Entertainment stated to Sports Donga, “We are taken aback by the fact that there is a report about [our] management [of the group] when the decision on BY9 has not been made yet.”
Similarly, CJ ENM relayed to Newsen, “Nothing has been decided regarding the launch of the spin-off group.”
source: @soompi, soompi 1 2 3 4 5, naver 1 2 3 4 5 6, Mnet Produce X 101 Facebook, StarToday, joynews24