Producer admits to rigging votes

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Producer admits to rigging votes

Producer Ahn Joon-young of Mnet audition show “Produce X 101” admitted to rigging the voting results for the program’s finale, according to his lawyer on Friday.

Ahn’s lawyer attended a hearing at the Seoul Central District Court Friday on behalf of Ahn, who, along with seven other members of the show’s staff, was indicted for obstruction of duty and fraud earlier this month.

The “Produce” series featured K-pop trainees competing against one another for a spot in a “project group,” with viewers voting for their favorites to advance. The show tried to distinguish itself from other audition shows by not having a designated group of judges to determine the show’s outcome.

But, after the most recent season’s finale this summer, a group of viewers found a pattern in the voting results and raised suspicions that tallies were rigged. The viewers filed a report to police, who filed the case to the prosecution with a request to indict the suspects for fraud.

By rigging the votes for certain candidates, Ahn is accused of having received in return favorable treatments and services from some entertainment agencies that participated in the show. Ahn’s lawyer denied the allegations Friday. Ahn’s next hearing is on Jan. 14, 2020.

By Esther Chung

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