Produce 48 trainees and mentors began flashing a specific hand gesture during their performances and at the production conference.
According to CROSS GENE‘s fanbase CandYs, the multinational boy group has been using this gesture since debut to represent their group identity.
CROSS GENE’s group name comes from the idea to “cross the superior genes of each country to create one perfect group”. Hence the hand gesture represents the DNA “genes” crossing.
CandYs are accusing the TV program to have “stolen” this six-year-old identifying hand gesture from the boy group, but they are “unable to do anything about it because the fandom is very small.”
Even when CROSS GENE used to be a six-member group, this K-Pop idol has always identified with this crossed-fingers pose.
Not only CandYs, but other groups’ fans have joined forces on Twitter to trend the hashtag #ReturnIt_Produce48 to urge the Produce 48 production team to respond to the accusation.
It's not just a hand greeting. It's a symbol that started with Cross Gene that they accepted without caring about how many challenges they would face in the industry. They knew it would be hard but they still make an effort to this very day… #ReturnIt_Produce48
— #6YearsWithCrossGene (@Aquamaraqua) June 11, 2018
— Beatie 🍬 | #6YearsWithCrossGene (@b43_t) June 12, 2018
— euni #6YearsWithCrossGene ♥️ (@EunicornCandY) June 11, 2018
so for #PRODUCE48 they started using this hand sign… however, this hand sign has been used since 2012 already by a group named CROSS GENE. please help spread the word as this isn't the first time something got copied from us ;; @MnetKR @mnet_produce48 #크로스진 #CROSSGENE pic.twitter.com/JU0YM69iXw
— kayleigh 🍬 (@preshslide) June 11, 2018
Produce 48 or Mnet channel is yet to respond, but more fans become aware of the controversy and expect some feedback.
“This is what happens to fans who stan rookies or less popular idols. Things like this piss me off so much.”
“It’s literally identical.”
“We should all boycott the program.”
“Do they not realize how big of a deal these things are in the idol industry? When they’re producing shows about idols?”