Mnet, a South Korean television network, has created some of the most popular content in K-Pop content, but it is not a stranger to controversy. Here are 7 of Mnet’s most controversial moments of 2021.
1. Mistreatment at MAMA
Most recently, Mnet came under fire for its alleged mistreatment of several artists at the 2021 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMAs).
Fans claim that ATEEZ fell victim to poor camera work and preventable technical difficulties. Mnet’s camera operators allegedly failed to capture the true quality of ATEEZ’s performance. Furthermore, a member was given a malfunctioning microphone.
At MAMA, TXT also experienced poor camera work, and Soobin was cut off during his acceptance speech for Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10.
2. Girls Planet 999
During Huening Bahiyyih‘s time on this Mnet survival show, fans chronicled her alleged mistreatment.
From camera work and styling to feedback and editing, viewers pointed out a number of issues. For example, the camera operator appears to have missed the timing for Huening Bahiyyih’s ending fairy pose. Instead of showing her highlight…
…the camera focused on the “awkward” pause that followed it.
Fans also noted a difference in quality between Huening Bahiyyih’s fancam and that of other contestants.
As for styling, Huening Bahiyyih wore an oversized top and bucket hat, while the rest of her team dressed in form-flattering crop tops for a performance.
3. “Find Your I”
Following an announcement for I-LAND 2, Mnet received backlash for a video teaser. Netizens claimed that the tagline used in the clip, “Find Your I,” had been copied from TREASURE‘s slogan.
Since debut TREASURE’s greeting has been, “Find your TREASURE.”
It means that we want to become something special in people’s everyday lives. If we can give them a sense of consolation or happiness through our music, or make them happy, then I think that’s the good influence that we’re spreading.
— Bang Yedam
4. An unfair advantage
Mnet’s Kingdom: Legendary War faced allegations of unfair treatment before it even aired. During filming, one competing group reportedly received advantages over the others.
For “The Hit Song Mission,” one group reportedly received an expensive set and props, exceeding the maximum ₩5 million KRW (~$4,417 USD). In response, several groups’ agencies went directly to Mnet to make complaints. Mnet later released a statement, claiming the controversy had stemmed from miscommunication.
5. Blurring B.I
During the first episode of Kingdom: Legendary War, fans noticed that former iKON member B.I had been blurred out in past iKON clips.
Outraged, fans contacted Mnet with a detailed list of complaints, claiming that the blurring would create negative buzz around B.I, who has striven to overcome his past scandal.
6. Idol School manipulation
In September, it was revealed that Mnet’s 2017 competition show Idol School manipulated the trainees’ rankings a total of 233 times.
In a survival style music show that is selecting girl group members, from episodes 2 to 11, the rankings were manipulated 233 times in total.
When the 4th eliminations were announced, 10 trainees who were subject to elimination remained in the competition while 10 trainees who were supposed to stay in the competition were unfairly eliminated.
— Jeong Kyung Shik
Lee Haein, for instance, originally ranked #1 and would have debuted in the show’s group, fromis_9. Idol School‘s producers manipulated her ranking over the course of the show because they felt she didn’t fit the group’s image.
7. MAMA‘s beauty filters
Mnet came under fire for using a beauty filter on a 2021 MAMA announcer, actor Ahn Bo Hyun.
On the red carpet, Ahn Bo Hyun filmed a TikTok video that sparked a heated debate. Netizens demanded to know why a beauty filter had been used to drastically alter the actor’s naturally handsome appearance.
In this screenshot from the video, Ahn Bo Hyun is almost unrecognizable.
Like Ahn Bo Hyun, several idols and actors were also filtered for Mnet’s social media accounts.