On August 1, a representative of MAST Law & Consulting announced that 272 viewers of the show—all of whom had paid to vote by text messaging during the program’s live finale—would be filing a lawsuit later that morning. The representative officially stated, “Today, a total of 272 ‘Produce X 101′ viewers will be filing a formal lawsuit and legal complaint against [the show] regarding suspicions of vote manipulation at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office at 11 a.m.” According to MAST Law & Consulting, the plaintiffs are “Produce X 101” viewers who paid to participate in the show’s text voting during the live finale on July 19. The viewers have pointed to the fact that all of the top 20 contestants’ final vote counts were multiples of 7494.442—a statistically unlikely result—as evidence of vote manipulation.
The 272 plaintiffs stated in their official complaint, “The above voting results appear far too unnatural to be the result of the one-week online voting and the text votes, of which there were over 1.4 million. It seems reasonable to suspect that the released voting results might be different from the actual voting results.” They added, “If [the show] had simply released the raw data of the voting results from the beginning of this controversy, there would not have been any problem.” “Because the subject of the program is ‘the nation’s producers personally selecting idols,’ any corrupt interference with the votes is in itself deception of the program’s viewers and supporters,” they continued. “As the producers have admitted that there were errors in calculating the total numbers of votes, it is their duty to prove that [it was error and not vote manipulation] with convincing evidence.” Finally, the plaintiffs stated, “We are hoping to prevent [similar incidents] in the future by clearly uncovering the truth about these suspicions of vote manipulation. Accordingly, we urge the prosecutors’ office to thoroughly investigate the matter and deliver a strict punishment.”
Police then executed a search and seizure of CJ E&M offices in relation to the investigation.
According to Mnet on July 31, the police has secured materials from the “Produce X 101” staff offices in the CJ ENM building in Sangam. A source from Mnet explained, “The police are currently conducting their search and seizure right now [as of 1:40 p.m. KST].”
I know there are underlying issues of fraud here, so this action makes sense, but it’s still hilarious to me that this fucking idol survival show is getting a police investigation with a seemingly quicker search and seizure than stuff like the Burning Sun scandal and molka scandal.