KBS at center of point-tampering allegations on 'Music Bank' episode with Lim Young-woong
The police are looking into allegations that the local broadcaster KBS tampered with the scores of its weekly music show "Music Bank" and snubbed trot sensation Lim Young-woong of his win.
The Yeongdeungpo Police Precinct said on Saturday that it received a civil complaint filed through the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission on May 18. The complaint claimed that KBS's weekly music program "Music Bank" manipulated the final scores of its May 13 episode to favor rookie K-pop girl group Le Sserafim over Lim.
The police said that they have assigned an officer to the case to see if any crimes were committed in the controversy. "Once the allegations are recognized, we will officially begin investigations."
On the episode, Lim performed his latest track “If We Ever Meet Again” from his first full-length album “Im Hero,” while Le Sserafim sang its debut song “Fearless.”
Le Sserafim took the trophy by 846 points.
When viewers saw that Lim had scored zero in the Number of Broadcasts category of "Music Bank," they began to question the validity of the program's scoring in the episode.
The rankings in "Music Bank" are calculated through points in five categories: Digital Music Chart (60 percent), Number of Broadcasts (20 percent), Viewer's Choice (10 percent), Album Sales (5 percent) and Social Media (5 percent).
Points in the Number of Broadcasts category are earned from the number of times an artist's song was played on KBS television or radio programs.
On May 18, KBS released a statement saying that Lim's song "If We Ever Meet Again" was not played on any of KBS's programs from May 2 to 8, which is the period during which the points for the May 13 episode were amassed.
However Lim’s fans were not appeased and demanded KBS disclose how Le Sserafim could receive a score of over 5,000, “by appearing in what kind of programs, how many times and when.”
KBS did not disclose its method for calculating the TV or radio broadcast scores.
According to local news outlet Dispatch last week, Lim's song was played a total of three times on KBS's radio programs — "With Kim Hye Yong," "Lim Baek Chun's 100 Music" and "Seol Bam with Park So Hyun" — during the indicated period in May by KBS.
Lim released “Im Hero” last month. The album sold more than 1.1 million copies in the first week of its release. This is the highest number ever recorded by a Korean solo artist.
The lead track “If We Ever Meet Again” had been No. 1 on the local music chart Gaon Digital Chart from May 1 to May 7.
Lim rose to fame through TV Chosun’s hit audition show “Mr. Trot” (2020), which reignited the trot trend in Korea. Although K-trot is yet to sweep the globe like K-pop has, the genre is extremely popular domestically, particularly among middle-aged and older Koreans.
BY LEE JIAN [firstname.lastname@example.org]