The South Korean music show network, Mnet, has garnered quite a bit of backlash from K-Pop fans everywhere with their numerous controversies over the years. Here is a comprehensive list of a few of Mnet’s worst controversies that put them in hot water.
1. Boycotting Incidents
In 2007, Shinhwa’s Minwoo and Hyesung cancelled their appearance at the MAMA Awards one hour before the awards ceremony began. Hyesung later said they left because they did not trust the event to select winners based on fairness.
In 2009, entertainment companies Inwoo Production and SM Entertainment both boycotted the 2009 MAMA awards ceremony, similarly stating the reason for boycotting was their questioning of fairness. In particular, SM Entertainment said that Girls’ Generation had held the #1 spot on a music chart for nine consecutive weeks, but the group never won first place on Mnet’s weekly M Countdown music show. SM Entertainment has also boycotted multiple other Mnet award shows since then.
2. Discrimination Between Actors And Idols
On December 8, 2020, Dispatch released an article stating that the actors who presented at that seasons awards show were given waiting rooms and backstage catering, while the idols participating in the show were not. It was speculated that these idols were forced to wait in their transportation in the parking lot, for anywhere from one to six hours. Restrooms for these artists are said to have been portable toilets outside, and some idols rented other accommodations nearby rather than have to sit in their cars.
3. Idol School Manipulation
Mnet’s 2017 competition show Idol School manipulated the trainees’ rankings a total of 233 times throughout the shows airing. 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.
4. Kingdom’s Unfair Advantage
Even before the airing of Mnet’s Kingdom: Legendary War, there were allegations of mistreatment surrounding the show. During filming, one group reportedly received advantages over the others. For one challenge in particular, one group reportedly exceeded the maximum ₩5 million KRW (~$4,417 USD) limit per challenge. In response, several groups’ agencies went directly to Mnet to make complaints. Mnet later released a statement, claiming the controversy had stemmed from miscommunication.