The vote manipulation scandal that effectively brought down Mnet’s survival show empire has been going on for a while, but those most prominently involved have been now been handed sentences. PD Ahn Joon Young was given two years and CP Kim Yong Bum was given 20 months, while six others involved with production and companies received fines.
For the sentence hearing on May 29, all eight members were present. The judge announced, “We acknowledge them to be guilty of all charges.” Kim Yong Bum received a sentence of one year and eight months, and Ahn Joon Young received a sentence of two years. PD Lee Mi Kyung received a fine of 10 million won (approximately $8,081), two entertainment agency representatives “Kim” and “Kim” received fines of 5 million won (approximately $4,041), and three entertainment agency representatives “Lee,” “Kim,” and “Ryu” received fines of 7 million won (approximately $5,657). Ahn Joon Young additionally received a fine of 36 million won (approximately $29,093). On the assessment of CP Kim Yong Bum and PD Ahn Joon Young’s case, the judge stated, “Kim Yong Bum should have led the directing to match the aims of the nation’s producers, and his responsibility is great for not having done so. As the main producer, Ahn Joon Young’s accountability is not light, and the public’s mistrust is great due to his improper solicitation.”
This case shouldn’t be treated as nothing like many others seem to favor, so I don’t mind the punishment. Specifically because while the manipulation is generallya-ssumed reality TV shenanigans, it was also defrauding many teens through paid voting, not to mention the impact it had on the trainees themselves who they essentially used as fodder. They got caught getting greedy, so they gotta pay the price, whether it’s expected or not.
That said, this case doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and the fact that two of these producers are getting years in prison when rapists and abusers aren’t even exiled from the industry, much less in jail, makes it easy to understand why people would be a bit perplexed by this. Furthermore, it seems telling that we’re apparently supposed to believe that this was all concocted by these individuals on their own without any oversight from the major entertainment companies or media conglomerates they work for, which seems awfully convenient.
But it is something, and the way things have been going with these scandals, that almost seems like a miracle itself.