Among the seven individuals who were indicted along with producer Ahn Joon Young were executives for Starship Entertainment, a former Woollim Entertainment employee, and a former 8D Creative employee, according to Yonhap News.
On December 6, Yonhap News reported that the eight individuals include PD (producing director) Ahn Joon Young, PD Lee, CP (chief producer) Kim Yong Bum, two Starship Entertainment executives Kim and Kim, former Woollim Entertainment employee Lee, and former 8D Creative employee Ryu. The eighth individual has not been revealed yet. They have been indicted for suspicions such as breach of trust through bribery and violations of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act.
Ahn Joon Young, of course, was provided service at an adult entertainment facility by agency reps, and while there’s not yet official confirmation that the bribes influenced the final rankings, I don’t think it’s exactly a stretch to connect the dots here.
So far Starship and Woollim have not responded, but 8D has said that the employee got in trouble while with his own company (Enfant Terrible Company) and not theirs.
Ryu, who is currently being mentioned regarding the bribery of “Produce 101” production staff, was in charge of album PR duties for our agency at one point. However, Ryu already established their own agency Enfant Terrible Company last year and no longer has relations with our agency.
To our knowledge, Ryu was investigated in the process of a trainee from his agency Enfant Terrible participating in “Produce X 101.” 8D Creative has never been investigated at all regarding the ranking manipulation and has not participated in bribery.
True or not, there’s still one company missing that’s so far being kept out of the public spotlight for some reason.
My expectation is that companies involved will try to scapegoat individual employees and have them essentially take the fall for the company as a whole. This will probably work (unless more damning evidence emerges) despite common sense dictating that random employees aren’t gonna go lone wolf and dish out five figures to get some producer’s rocks off out of their own pocket cause they care so much about the company or whatever. So it goes.
The fourth and final company was revealed to be Around Us Entertainment, and they issued a statement in response, admitting to buying the producer drinks but denying bribery.
According to Yonhap News, Around US Entertainment’s Kim is the eighth individual along with PD Ahn Joon Young, PD Lee, CP (chief producer) Kim Yong Bum, two Starship Entertainment executives Kim and Kim, former Woollim Entertainment employee Lee, and former 8D Creative employee Ryu. In response, Around US commented, “It is true that [Ahn Joon Young] was treated to drinks, but no bribery regarding the trainees took place.”