Tension is at an all-time high due to recent revelations that shook the Kpop industry.
Previously, rumors aroused that Produce seasons were rigged, it started with the last installments, votes legitimacy came into question and thus an investigation was launched.
Last night, SBS reported that PD Ahn Joon Young (who worked on all Produce series) had admitted to manipulating the rankings of “Produce 48” and “Produce X 101” during police questioning. He is currently arrested and awaiting trial.
This could mean that there are currently X1 and IZ*ONE members who got into their groups through rigging taking the spots of others who earned it through fair and square voting. As you’d expect that didn’t land well with netizens and due to heavy scrutiny, IZ*ONE comeback has been postponed an hour ago.
Fans have been growing increasingly worried about the future of IZ*ONE and X1. According to a recent exclusive report by Korean news outlet Ilgan Sports and Joy News 24, some X1 members haven’t even signed contracts yet.
As soon as the winner group was announced the rigging controversy began. Mnet and CJ ENM pushed with the debut despite police investigation; however, due to that; some agencies of X1 members hadn’t signed exclusive contracts with CJ ENM yet.
According to Ilgan Sports, there have been continuous discussions with CJ ENM and the agencies but no finalized contracts had been signed yet.
Originally, X1 contracts were supposed to be the longest of the series running for five years. Several copies were made but not all agencies agreed with all of the clauses.
A source told news outlets that following the controversy, X1 brand deals talks were canceled and the group couldn’t easily appear on broadcasting channels due to the ongoing police investigation which is why some agencies didn’t sign up contracts yet.
In IZ*ONE’s case, the members had only signed their contracts six months after their debut, this explains why CJ ENM didn’t mind allowing X1 to continue to promote without all the members signing contracts.
Another industry insider added that the agencies of current X1 members are looking at the future not just the five years, but the member future following that, many agencies wonder if it’s right to continue promoting with X1 considering the current situation.
This is why the agencies are thinking long and hard about what would be the best decision for the members and their fans. But for the agencies who haven’t signed contracts yet, it’s a huge relief for them.
On the other hand, you have CJ ENM who would probably hang onto X1 and wouldn’t let go easily. From their point of view, the revenue they’ll earn from X1 long five year promotions is huge and losing that would be major. The industry insider says, ‘CJ ENM won’t be able to let go easily.’
Korean netizens are split. Since there are members who reportedly joined the group through rigging it means that those who deserved it were shunned. Some suggest those who got through rigging to be expelled from the group while other netizens want the entire group to disband, they think its only right for those who were unfairly eliminated and for the nation that was tricked into thinking their votes made a change when the lineup was already predetermined.
What do you think will happen to X1? Do you think they should carry on as a group or not?
My Personal Thoughts
First things first, we need to establish that it’s not X1 fault, however, they will pay the price for it along with Mnet and they will probably pay the bigger price.
I agree with the last insider statement, I highly doubt CJ ENM would let go of the millions of dollars. I have a theory (plz know that I am speculating and discussing with you guys), I think it’ll depend on what happens next.
SBS dropped a bombshell last night which caused so much damage to IZ*ONE comeback, it was ultimately postponed. Now, if Korean news outlets decided to expose the names of those who got in through rigging, we have a serious issue.
I think that if it doesn’t get any worse than this, X1 will continue as they are. CJ ENM is HUGE in South Korea; such a thing won’t take them down. However, if the names are exposed, it means the end of the careers of those who were exposed. Netizens will eat them up, and many will start demanding they reveal the actual lineup. I don’t think Mnet will ever give up the original lineup but again, it could change.
We have to wait and see how it all pans out. X1 will pay the price for what their agencies did behind their backs. Now whether they knew or not matters in my opinion but I won’t hold it against them. First, they’re kids, second, I don’t even think they had the choice to accept or deny that. They went in because they wanted to become idols and their agencies did stuff to make it happen.
I am sure some agencies are quivering in fear right now, they’re afraid the members who got in through rigging would be found out. The agency would take a hit and that promising member career would sadly end.
This is a huge deal in my opinion. Mnet played with fire and they should’ve seen it coming. Its so unfair for those who worked their asses off. Sadly, the members who probably had no choice will pay the biggest price.