Project girl band IZ*ONE allowed to resume activities suspended by vote-rigging scandal

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : January 23, 2020, 11:39 | Updated : January 23, 2020, 11:39

[Photograph by Yoo Dae-gil = dbeorlf123@ajunews.com]

SEOUL -- IZ*ONE, a project gird band formed through an audition show, was allowed to resume official activities which were suspended in November last year when a vote-rigging scandal battered Mnet, a popular TV music channel which has hosted a series of audition programs for young idol group hopefuls from entertainment agencies.

"IZ*ONE will resume activities in February, and we will let you know the specific schedule at an early date," Mnet, run by CJ E&M, a key distributor and exporter of Hallyu (Korean cultural wave) in Asia, said in a statement on Thursday.

"Since this is not the fault of artists who have debuted, trainees or their agencies, We ask you to embrace them so that they will not get hurt anymore," Mnet said, adding its decision was made to respect the wishes of fans.

In early November, police arrested two producers of Produce X 101, a boy group survival reality show, on charges of rigging votes cast by fans in favor of particular contestants. One producer told investigators that Produce 48 votes were also rigged. IZ*ONE's nine members from South Korea and three from Japan debuted in October 2018 after they were selected through Produce 48, a girl band audition show.

X1, another project boy band formed through Mnet's program, was dismantled as management agencies failed to reach a unanimous decision on the resumption of the group's activities.

Mnet has played a crucial role in discovering many talented K-pop artists. Produce 101 has been a preferred stage for trainees who wish to become a K-pop idol. Viewers choose 11 members out of 101 trainees from different entertainment companies and independent trainees through online and live voting with multiple elimination rounds.

 
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