The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) has decided in their investigation that the Produce 101 series should receive the highest level of punishment possible, and there have also been details released about the specifics of the manipulation.
The KCSC announced on August to that they have decided to fine Mnet for the manipulation in all of their seasons of Produce: Produce 101 Season 1, Produce 101 Season 2, Produce 48, and Produce X 101.
By using the tactic that the final members of the group will be decided by the viewer’s votes, to increase viewer participation, the viewers were encouraged to vote for their pick, but the results of the vote were manipulated to deceive the viewers and prevented fair public opinion from being shown.
Not only that, but the wasted effort form the audition show participants is a serious problem.
According to the KCSC statement, Mnet manipulated aspects of all four seasons of Produce. The methods they manipulated the votes include arbitrarily setting the final rankings before the final vote even occurred, reversing the rankings of eliminated and safe trainees, and deceiving viewers to think that the results were the viewers’ choices. In addition, it was revealed that the results in Produce 101 Season 1’s 4th and final round of voting were manipulated.
Last month, the broadcasting subcommittee detailed how the manipulation occurred in respective seasons. Lee So Young, a member from the committtee, shared their findings.
In Season 1, four trainees’ rankings were manipulated in the first round of voting. In Season 2, two trainees’ rankings were manipulated in the first round of voting, and two trainees’ rankings were manipulated in the final rankings for Wanna One. In Season 3 (Produce 48), all 12 trainees for the final group IZ*ONE were manipulated.
CJ ENM Strategy and Support Vice President Lim Hyeong Chan stated that these manipulation moments were true.
— Lee So Young
While Produce X 101 was not specifically mentioned by Lee So Young, Lim Hyeong Chan stated that all four seasons of Produce did have some level of manipulation.
In addition, the law firm selected as the representative for the Produce X Truth Finding Committee mentioned one of the I.O.I members had their rankings manipulated to enter the group.
The fourth live voting results for the final selection of the I.O.I members in Season 1 was manipulated. The results of the prosecution’s investigation showed that one member of the debut group had their rankings manipulated.
The amount of fines that Mnet and CJ ENM will be receiving has yet to be determined. While the numbers have not been set yet, the committee will will consider the details, number of violations, and more before handing CJ ENM their final fine amount. The fine is expected to be around ₩120 million KRW ($101,020 USD).