Mnet is busy casting trainees for their second season of 'Produce 101,' featuring male trainees, but insiders are saying that the recruitment is proving harder than expected.
The production team of 'Produce 101' has already officially announced the launch of season two with a similar system as that of the first season. The problem is the casting. They expected many trainees to jump at the chance of becoming the next IOI, but the reality was little bit different.
Many agencies like SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment, again, decided not to participate. CUBE, Woollim, BigHit, and Starship also have expressed their plan to not participate. There are plenty of individual trainees, but not very many agencies seem to be interested. 'Produce 101' even reached out to agencies that mainly have actors with little result.
Why are many agencies cold about the idea of sending their trainees to the new season of 'Produce 101' when IOI was one of the most popular groups of the year?
One insider stated, "IOI was successful this year, but internally, they are struggling. There are conflicts that have to do with contracts and scheduling. Some of the agencies even tried to pull members out of the last schedule of the year, which is the IOI concert...Smaller agencies might use the opportunity to promote, but there are not many incentives for them to be on the show."
According to the insider, another reason many agencies are reluctant about 'Produce 101' is the clear hierarchy of power. 'Produce 101' contract shows that trainees get zero compensation for being on the show. Additionally, agencies and trainees must sign away any legal rights to take CJ E&M to court even if they do not like the way they are portrayed or edited on the show.
Mnet still plans to air 'Produce 101' season two early next year. Guess we will find out if it will be another success or not!