Uh oh, Mnet is in hot water for allegedly mistreating the trainees in “Produce 101” (프로듀스 101) season 2.
Apparently, it was reported that the contestants of the highly anticipated survival program receive different treatment depending on their grades. Just in case you didn’t know, grades from A through F are given to each trainee after an initial “level test”.
According to a report by Soompi, various industry insiders revealed that the program’s grading system has dictated when the trainees eat, go to the bathroom, or even go home.
One label said, “The bathroom is allowed for usage starting from the ‘A’ group, so the trainees in the lower group have incidents where they can’t take care of their basic biological needs. We understand that it’s necessary to group the trainees because there are so many of them, but it’s unfair for the grades to affect everything.”
Besides that, All Kpop also pointed out that the lower tier boys don’t get enough food and are just left with rice. Meanwhile, Ilgan Sports noted that spicy stir-fried pork and rice is the only meal being offered.
“The boys are maturing and growing, and they only have rice to eat. They have limited food, and they’re competing. The lower a contestant’s grade, the harder they have to work, but they just lose more and more energy,” stated an entertainment company, adding, “They have no choice but to do as they’re told, because if they express their disagreement with how things are run, it could play against their favor. The contestants are desperate for this chance to make themselves known. It’s a shame that their hard work is being distorted like this.”
In response to the controversy, Mnet has released a press statement on Tuesday (21st March). They said, “There are a lot of people, so we are moving around in groups. The trainees are taking care of each other and engaging in friendly competition. Filming is going quite smoothly, with nothing for viewers to worry about.”
However, a representative told SE Daily that “it’s difficult to confirm anything at this time”.
What do you think about the controversy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!