On December 7, media outlets publicized the contents of Ahn Joon Young PD and Kim Yong Bum CP's recent prosecution reports, including their responses as to why they decided to manipulate the rankings of trainees during Mnet's 'Produce' series.
According to Ahn PD and Kim CP, after the enormous success of project groups IOI and Wanna One during 'Produce 101' seasons 1 and 2, they were pressured from within their company to maintain matching revenues through follow-up seasons. Some time after the success of IOI and Wanna One, Ahn PD and Kim CP claimed that they were recognized within CJ ENM for their roles in raising the company's revenues and profits significantly. As a result, they were assigned special incentives and named as key employees, being further pressured to maintain the success through newer seasons of the survival series.
Ahn PD named this 'pressure' as the most critical reason why he chose to pre-determine the final debuting members during 'Produce 48' and 'Produce X 101', before the final episode aired live. He reasoned that he became worried when he saw trainees whose concepts did not fit with the overall debut concept of the winning group rising in the ranks, and ultimately chose to manipulate the trainees' overall rankings.
In addition, Ahn PD is reported to have admitted to pre-determining the winning members of 'Produce X 101' due to the fact that the winning project group would be promoting for the longest contract in 'Produce' history, another factor which could negatively affect their success compared to previous seasons.
Currently, it's unclear whether or not Ahn PD's current statements will match up with the statements of the entertainment agency employees who offered bribe services to him in regard to the manipulation of the 'Produce' series.
Meanwhile, according to prosecution reports so far, Ahn Joon Young PD is said to have admitted to partial manipulation of trainees' rankings during 'Produce 101' seasons 1 and 2, and to manipulating all of the rankings of the trainees on the final broadcasts of 'Produce 48' and 'Produce X 101'. During 'Produce 101' seasons 1 and 2, Ahn PD is reportedly facing suspicions of switching up the results of some trainees' votes throughout season 1 including during preliminary voting rounds, as well as directly manipulating the votes of one trainee during season 2 in order to include him in Wanna One.
Prosecutors plan on resuming their preparations before Ahn PD and Kim CP's official court trial this December 20.