The results of ‘Produce X 101’ started an investigation into essentially the entirety of Mnet’s reality show properties. It seemed obvious that they were rigging the show because: 1) Well, duh. 2) The irregularity with vote totals were almost mathematically impossible.
Well, police recently raided the Woollim Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, and MBK Entertainment in connection with the case.
According to sources from both the entertainment industry and police, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s cyber division team carried out separate search and seizures at the offices of Woollim Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, and MBK Entertainment today, October 1.X1 contains Cha Junho from Woollim Entertainment, Song Hyeongjun and Kang Minhee from Starship Entertainment, and Lee Hangyul and Nam Dohyon from MBK Entertainment.
It goes beyond just sources though, because Starship acknowledged as much.
We understand that police are investigating CJ ENM over the alleged manipulation of the rankings in Produce X 101, and with that, comes an investigation into the partner companies involved.
We will sincerely act on the police’s request for an investigation.
— Starship Entertainment
Perhaps that buries the lede, however, which is that police have found circumstantial evidence that the show was rigged, including results that switched 2-3 members.
It has been revealed that police investigating the alleged vote-manipulation of the Produce X 101 final results for X1 have discovered that the results were indeed rigged. They have found circumstantial evidence showing that final rankings of some of the member who were voted into X1 and those who were eliminated were reversed.
According to an exclusive report from No Cut News about the investigation results, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s cyber investigation team discovered that some of the 11 trainees who were voted into X1 received votes that were supposed to belong to other, eliminated trainees. The police believe there are 2 or 3 members who were added into X1 via this method. The 2 or 3 members of X1 who are believed to have been added to X1 due to vote manipulation have not been identified, nor have the trainees who were eliminated as a part of the manipulation. Police believe that these changes in ranking was rigged, and have booked the head PD and other production staff members on charges of obstruction of business. They are also investigating whether or not monetary transactions were made between the trainees’ agencies and the production team relating to the vote-manipulation.
While it has always been laughable how quickly authorities have been to act on something like this compared to the molka and Burning Sun scandals, that doesn’t mean that this definitely wouldn’t be a crime. Circumstantial evidence doesn’t prove anything in court, but let’s be real, we all know they rig this shit regardless of whether this ever became a thing or not.
Update: Apparently it is not “circumstantial” but “direct” evidence.
The schadenfreude of it all was that they would probably have continued to get away with it as they have been had they just not gotten lazy as hell and repeated the same ending digits of the vote totals over and over and simply switched it up a bit or used a randomizer or ANYTHING other than what they did. The hubris of not even bothering to do that will probably not collapse their reality show empire but it has the potential to, which is such a hilarious outcome that it’s hard to comprehend.