Produce 101 Season 2 Trainee Shares His Thoughts
Park Hee-seok, a contestant on Mnet’s Produce 101 Season 2, has shared his thoughts regarding the controversy about the series being under suspicions of vote manipulation. After participating in Produce 101 Season 2, Park Hee-seok made his debut as a member of Baikal in 2017. Unfortunately, the group disbanded in May 2019.
On November 7, 2019, Park Hee-seok took to his Instagram and shared a screenshot of a news article about PD Ahn Joon Young admitting to manipulating the results after receiving favors from certain agencies. Along with the photo, Park Hee-seok wrote a lengthy caption in which he shared his thoughts regarding the controversy.
The following is the statement from Park Hee Seok:
” I dare say this as someone who directly participated in the program and watched seasons 1, 2, and 3 because they were filmed at our agency’s practice rooms at the Paju Hallyu Training Center, but I do not believe there was a single trainee who did not work hard or wasted time when they were filming, did not give their best for each performance, or believed that they would obviously get the spot.
People from small agencies that do not have the money nor connections could not comfortably sleep nor rest, and they spent time smiling, crying, fighting, and getting exhausted and frustrated, hoping to achieve their dreams by appearing in the program. They considered each performance as their last and because of the little shred of hope, they got nervous for each voting, cried because of malicious comments, and smiled for even a second of screen time.
Even I, who is complimented for my positive and strong state of mind, had a hard time reading comments such as ‘This is the end for you’ or ‘How can someone like you wish to be an idol?’ You cannot even imagine how hard it must have been for the trainees who are timid and had no one to open up to. Every staff member, writer, and producer worked just as hard while filming the program.
However, now that this article has been proven as the truth, I’m worried that all PDs, FDs [floor directors], and writers who participated in the program will be called the bad guys. I sincerely hope that nothing like this will ever happen again to trainees and artists who ardently dream every day. I truly hope that nothing like this will ever happen again.”
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직접 프로그램에 참여했고 시즌1때부터 파주 한류트레이닝센터라는 우리 회사 연습실에서 촬영을 했기에 시즌1,2,3을 지켜봐왔던 사람으로써 감히 말하지만 그 어떤 연습생도 촬영하는 하루하루를 허투루 보낸 사람도 매 경연마다 최선을 다하지 않았던 사람도 자기는 당연히 될거라고 믿었던 사람도 없었다고 생각합니다. 마음편히 잠을 자지도 쉬지도 못하고 이 프로그램 출연 한번으로 자신의 꿈을 이루고자 웃고 울고 싸우고 지치고 절망하던 시기를 보내왔고 그때 그 순간의 무대들이 마지막이라고 생각하며 자금없고 빽없는 소규모 회사의 아이들은 그 실낱같은 희망에 매 투표마다 가슴졸이고 악플에 울었으며 단 1초 방송분량에 웃었습니다. 평소 긍정적이고 밝고 멘탈이 좋다는 말을 자주듣는 저 조차도 '넌 거기까지다' '니가 무슨 아이돌이냐'라는 댓글들을 보며 힘든 시간을 보낸적이 있었습니다. 소극적인 성격이라 누군가에게 털어놓을곳 조차 없던 아이들은 얼마나 힘든시간을 보냈을지 상상도 못하시겠죠.. 모든 촬영 스탭분들 작가님 피디님들이 프로그램을 하는 내내 똑같이 고생하셨습니다. 하지만 지금 이 기사가 사실이 됨으로써 프로그램에 참여했던 모든 PD,FD,작가님들 까지도 나쁜 사람이라는 소릴 들을것같아 걱정이네요. 정말 두번 다시는 하루하루를 간절히 꿈꾸는 연습생들 아티스트들에게 이러한 일이 반복되지 않았으면 합니다. 제발 다시는 이런 일이 없었으면 합니다. . . . #프로듀스101
Another Produce 101 season 2 trainee, Jung Dong-soo (also known as ARKAY), has shared his anger and shock after reports that the season was manipulated.
On November 15, 2019, Jung Dong-soo posted on Instagram with the caption, “After digging into this further, it turns out I was a victim, too.” He added in the hashtags, “I don’t want to stay silent” and “Please punish the bad guys.”
Jung Dong-soo later told the news outlet SBS FunE, “I’d heard things and I had suspicions, but I was upset to see the actual report that said the rankings had been manipulated.”
“Seeing the article about the manipulation made me think a lot about the past,” he continued. “I also thought about how the people around me had been hurt and had cried and smiled over my rankings, and I was angry for a lot of reasons.”
In Produce 101 Season 2, Jung Dong-soo had come in second in the vocal position battle on the show, but was eliminated with the ranking of No. 36, when he was only one ranking below the cut-off to make it into the concept evaluation round. When he was eliminated, Jung Dong-soo held back tears and said, “Everything is disappointing as this was my final attempt to be an idol.”
Jung Dong-soo said to SBS FunE, “I don’t know if my real ranking was low or high, but one thing I’m sure of is that there were a lot of trainees who went on the show completely genuinely. That’s the most upsetting thing. We really all did our best, so that’s why this report was even more shocking.”
He is currently a part of K-pop duo named AA with his label mate, who was also a Produce 101 trainee, Kim Nam-hyung.
Netizens, needless to say, were not impressed by the vote manipulation. They have mixed feelings regarding the original members’ speculation.
” There is no such things as the “real ranking” since everything was rigged since the beginning. This has to be rigged too, everything is rigged. So you’re telling me they already prepared a picture for the ending of the show? Then isn’t it even more obvious that the whole thing was rigged? So how can people call [Wanna One] the real ranking?? I was always wondering how Kim Jonghyun didn’t make it.”
– Korean Netizen
But, some netizens were doubtful that the first picture to be uploaded was the actual ranking, calling it a “dummy” poster instead.
” The picture on top is a picture they’ve already prepared in advance, so stop calling it the real ranking ㅋㅋ I feel like the picture on top is even weirder.”
– Korean Netizen
Here are some other netizen comments from Netizenbuzz:
[+603, -31] ” I did think it was a waste to let the three go.. including Jung Sewoon.. but in the end, it was only one of them that was swapped out.”
[+520, -46] ” Poor Kim Samuel, what are we to do. His father could’ve possibly seen him debut.”
[+486, -11] ” So the question is which one is the real member and which one replaced him?…”
[+67, -9] ” I was horrified when I saw Park Woojin and Yoon Jisung debut… I thought my eyes were weird because apparently so many others liked them;;'”
[+60, -7] ” Yoon Jisung, Kim Jaehwan, and Ha Sungwoon aren’t up there..”
[+60, -12] ” I always thought Kim Samuel stood out with his dancing and singing so it was unbelievable when his rank dropped later on along with his screentime. Aigoo~”
[+48, -6] ” This is exactly what we thought…”
[+46, -4] ” It really was weird seeing Kim Jonghyun and Samuel get eliminated”
[+33, -1] ” I personally don’t understand how YJS and LDH made it in….”
[+25, -4] ” Yoon Jisung is under MMO… a company under CJ… just pointing that out…”
[+25, -8] ” Looks like KJH was swapped out for KJH ㅋㅋ how fitting, even their acronyms are the same ^^”
[+25, -2] ” Wow, as expected, the member I thought was weird who made it in isn’t on the list…”
Up until this point, nothing has really been confirmed. Let’s wait until the end of the investigation.
What do you think about this scandal? Show your thoughts in the comment section below!