With all four seasons of the Produce 101 series confirmed to have been “manipulated” by producer Ahn Joon Young, K-Pop fans can’t help but wonder what will happen to the “victims” of rigged votes.
Shortly after Mnet claimed it will “take full responsibility for the damages the trainees received“, Korean Lawtalk News took to calculating the estimated “damages” — as far as money is involved.
Entertainment lawyers claimed, should the victims opt to file lawsuits against Mnet, they are likely to win their cases.
The victims can take the channel to court and hold it accountable for having been eliminated from the show due to the producer’s manipulative involvement. Since the manipulation has already been confirmed by investigation, the victims are likely to win.
— Lawtalk News
The lawyers added, with the lawsuits, “Victims can be compensated for their losses, including the estimated revenue they would have earned had they debuted with the group.”
The said “estimated revenue” is, according to the lawyers, around ₩350,000,000 KRW ($313,865 USD) per victim.
Proving this would be simple as well. If the victim can pinpoint the member who debuted in his/her place, the victim can then base the estimated revenue on the actual revenue that member has earned since debut.
— Lawtalk News
Mnet is said to have raked in at least ₩80,000,000,000 KRW ($71,740,514 USD) from across the four seasons of the Produce 101 series. An estimated 20% of this went to the final members — at around ₩16,000,000,000 KRW ($71,740,514 USD).
With a total of 45 “finalist” members who went on to debut, this 20% amount would then mean that each victim would have made at least ₩350,000,000 KRW ($313,865 USD) “should they have debuted as they deserved.”
Lawyers concluded, “Even if the estimated revenue is not taken into consideration by the court, the victims would be compensated at the very least ₩50,000,000 KRW ($44,838 USD) — possibly up to double that.”
There is a chance the court may not accept the estimated revenue calculation, based on the fact that it is indeed an estimate. Still, the victims would most definitely be able to collect compensation for emotional distress — at the very least ₩50,000,000 KRW ($44,838 USD).
— Lawtalk News
K-Pop fans found it unlikely, however, for the victims to actually go through with filing lawsuits against Mnet…
… as these victims are still pursuing careers in the entertainment business.
The victims probably still want to debut as idols and pursue their K-Pop careers. Considering how they’ll have to work with Mnet once that future comes true, they are unlikely to file lawsuits against the channel… But I hope those who ended up giving up on the dream battle for their money and get what they deserve.
With that said, K-Pop fans continue to demand Mnet to fully compensate the victims even without being legally obliged to do so.