Mnet will be launching a new audition program, 'Girls Planet 999,' in an attempt to leave behind the controversy of the votes being rigged on the 'Produce 101' series. Although the production team promised a fair and transparent voting system, some viewers and netizens have doubts about whether the show will be fair and transparent.
The production team of 'Girls Planet 999' held a production presentation on August 5 and responded to such concerns. During the interview, the production team stated, "The voting will be held through the Mnet platform as well as an external platform. Only the final data will be given to the production team. We will also have an external observer system to ensure that the data is accurately broadcast without being modified."
In addition, the production team also revealed the editing process and the allocation of air time for the contestants. Producer Kim shin Young stated, "There is only a fixed amount of time for the broadcast so it is inevitable that there will be a variation in the air time for the contestants. However, we will not intentionally devote the time to certain participants." She also added, "We will also allocate the air time on certain contestants according to the storyboard of the show - which is to show 99 girls gather together to achieve their dreams in a friendly competition. We will also produce a lot of individual promotion videos so that the viewers will be able to see all the contestants' individual charms."
'Girls Planet 999' is an audition show in which girls from all across the globe will gather together to compete to be part of a nine-member K-pop girl group. There have been 33 girls selected from each of the three countries - Korea, China, and Japan - with 99 girls in total competing in the show. More than 13,000 applicants gathered for the preliminary auditions starting last January. However, there has been a controversy in which a few of the Chinese contestants reportedly posted a message on social media commemorating the Korean War and referring to it as the 'The War to Resist America and Aid Korea.' Many Korean netizens took issue with the post as it referred to China aiding North Korea to invade South Korea. Hence, there was even a national petition created against the show.
Chief producer Yoon stated, "This show will only be dealing with cultural aspects and K-pop. All participants have promised to show respect to each other without making political remarks. Even sports events such as the Olympics prohibit political, religious, and racist remarks. We hope that the viewers also think of this program as a global cultural event that is not political at all."
Regarding the purpose of the program, the producers explained, "K-pop is loved so much all over the world. It is safe to say that K-pop has grown to become a genre of its own. We look forward to seeing what kind of chemistry will be formed when girls from all across the world gather together under the medium of K-pop. We are in difficulty due to the COVID19 pandemic but we hope that this is an opportunity for the participants to grow as they show off their talent and passion on the show."