CJ ENM, the operator of K-pop-oriented music channel Mnet, on Monday issued an apology for the vote-fixing scandal of its high-profile idol competition show and vowed to financially compensate K-pop trainees victimized in the case.
"We will absolutely take responsibility to compensate trainees who sustained damage from the vote fixing of Mnet's audition shows, including the 'Produce' series," CEO Heo Min-heoi of CJ ENM said in a press conference.
Produce X 101” (SKT)
"(CJ ENM) will take necessary steps, following in-depth discussions with related people, to financially compensate (the trainees) and provide other practical relief measures including support for their future careers," Heo said.
The CEO also announced a plan to establish a 30 billion won ($25.9 million) fund to help further develop the K-pop industry, adding that CJ will cough up all the revenues from its audition shows as well as future revenues to set up the fund.
The company also plans to have two K-pop groups hit by the incident -- IZ*ONE and X1 -- resume their entertainment careers "as soon as possible," according to the CEO.
The bands debuted through the third and fourth season of "Produce 101," but as the audition program went under a police investigation, they suspended the bands' careers amid the widening scandal. (Yonhap)