[Maeil Business Newspaper Park Se-yeon]

The truth of rigging the live vote will be determined by the police investigation.

It is the first case for the police to investigate the production of the program.

The cyber investigation team of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said on 27th that “It has started an internal investigation after receiving a request from Mnet on 26th” The police are currently investigating the facts before a full-scale investigation.

In a live broadcast of the final episode, X1 members are confirmed as a new boy group member on the 19th. They are consisting of 11members including Kim Yo-han, Kim Woo-suk, Han Seung-woo, Song Hyung-joon, Cho Seung-yeon, Son Dong-pyo, Lee Han-gil, Nam Do-hyun, Cha Jun-ho, Kang Min-hee, and Lee Eun-sang.

However, the suspicion of vote-rigging was raised in the way that the difference in the number of votes among trainees were repeated consistently in the final vote count data released by Mnet after the broadcast. The suspicion was fueled by the analysis that the number of votes from the top to the top 20 is all described as a multiple of a specific number, ‘7494.442’

While some netizens set up a truth committee for the “Produce X” to file complaints against the producers, Ha Tae-kyung, a lawmaker of the Bareunmirae Party, said, “’Produce X’s rigging accident is a kind of employment irregularity and job fraud.” And the controversy has grown.

According to an explanation released by “Produce X” in 5 days, the producers in charge of counting votes during the live broadcast calculated both the number of votes and rates of votes earned for each trainee and, verified the final ranking in multiple ways, but in the process of re-verifying the ranking, they rounded off the rates of votes earned to the second place of decimal point and the number of votes, calculated as the number of votes rounded up, was delivered to the live scene. However, they said that the final ranking including X was fine.

Despite the official position of admitting that the fault was for the production team, suspicions were not resolved at all, and Mnet eventually said, “We conducted our own investigation after the controversy broke out, but we will ask a credible investigative agency to investigate the case because we believe there is a limit to finding out the facts,” adding, “Mnet will actively cooperate with the investigation to clarify the facts and take responsibility for the areas to take responsibility.”

While the investigation into the “Produce X” vote-rigging controversy is scheduled to begin in earnest from August, the situation of X1, who was selected as the final 11 members, is in a quandary. They plan to hold a debut showcase at Gocheok Sky Dome on 27th Aug, but the current atmosphere makes it uncertain whether the debut project will proceed as scheduled.

The production team explained, “There has been no change in the ranking despite the voting error,” but it is expected to be a difficult journey to debut as public distrust is already so great, the people’s eye at X1 cannot be as favorable as any other season.

The situation has also become ambiguous for virtual group By9, which is consisted of nine-member, who was eliminated in the final round. In the case of By9, their debut was not yet confirmed, but the situation was already heated up to the point that many agencies had discussed their debut as a derivative group in depth. However, as they unexpectedly met the reef of the “Produce X” investigation, their dream of debut became ambiguous due to the atmosphere.

psyon@mk.co.kr 

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