South Korean media reports that the final members of Produce-series groups IZ*ONE and X1 were already set even before the final official audience voting commenced.
This is after the news that all four seasons of the ‘Produce’ series were revealed to suffer from manipulation.
With Mnet producer Ahn Joon Young confessing to vote manipulation for both the Produce 48 and Produce X 101, which created the groups IZ*ONE and X1 respectively, as well as partially manipulating Produce 101 season 2 votes which in result produced Wanna One, the extent of the vote manipulation scheme remains unclear, even at this moment.
Reports that surfaced on December 5 states that assemblyman Ha Tae Kyung of the Bareunmirae Party sent an official written arraignment to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, which detailed that producers Ahn Joon Young and Kim Yong Bum had already decided on the final members of the aforementioned groups even before the viewers cast their votes for the contestant of their choice on the ‘Produce’ series.
The written arraignment also states that producers Ahn, Kim, and an un-named person held a meeting at the CJ ENM headquarters on July 17, 2018 and had already decided with the top 11 trainees who would debut as X1 after ‘Produce X 101’. The 12 members of IZ*ONE were also set already in August of 2018 before the live votes from viewers came in.
Police investigations also revealed that Ahn Joon Young had worked with 4 entertainment labels to edit favorably for certain trainees on ‘Produce 48’ and ‘Produce x 101’. Ahn also received over 46 million KRW (approximately $38,653.35 USD) in services from adult entertainment businesses paid for by the agencies. CJ ENM also made 124,465,000 KRW (approx. $104,588 USD) in profits from text message votes for ‘Produce 48’ and ‘Produce x 101’.
On the other hand, producer Ahn Joon Young is said to have switched the ranking of 2 trainees before the final episode of ‘Produce 101’ season 2 in June of 2017. This implies one trainee who should have debuted with Wanna One did not make the top 11. The producer also switched member rankings for the top 60 preliminary round in May of the same year.
The first season of ‘Produce 101’ which produced I.O.I also suffered from manipulation. Ahn Joon Young reportedly dropped 2 trainees and replaced them with 2 others for the first round of voting in February of 2016. -HallyuLife.com
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