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Court to review arrest warrant over audition show's alleged vote rigging

K-pop 10:05 November 05, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul court on Tuesday will review a prosecution request to issue arrest warrants for producers of a popular TV audition show over vote-rigging allegations.

The Seoul Central District Court is set to begin a hearing at 10:30 a.m. to decide whether to issue the arrest warrant for producers of "Produce X 101," a fan-voted idol competition show that ran on cable channel Mnet.

Police have been investigating allegations that production staff manipulated mobile text message-based voting results to include some contestants in X1, a band of the final 11 winners.

Court to review arrest warrant over audition show's alleged vote rigging - 1

The voting results came into spotlight soon after the final episode of the cable TV show aired in July.

Fans questioned the results as some promising contenders who outperformed rivals throughout the season were eliminated, while some candidates unexpectedly made it on the winners list.

Angry fans accused the show of rigging the final vote count, referring to dubious numerical patterns in the final count, even releasing a statement and lodging a legal complaint.

The scandal developed into an investigation involving the show's chief producer, production staff members as well as police raids on Mnet headquarters and five talent agencies, including Starship Entertainment, which represents two of X1's 11 members.

Despite the controversy, the final 11 winners made their debut as boy band X1 in late August.

Mnet, which had remained mostly silent on the issue, released an official apology on Tuesday.

"We are again deeply sorry to viewers and fans who loved 'Produce X,' contestants and talent agency officials," the company said in a statement.

"We will cooperate with the investigation and take responsibility for areas that we are accountable for according to the probe results."


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