Recently, LIGHTSUM‘s Chowon spoke about the manipulation that occurred on Mnet’s Produce 48, reigniting the public’s interest in the incident.
On September 20, a post on a Korean online community titled “Han Chowon, A Victim Of Produce 48‘s Manipulation” was posted.
In the post, the author posted screenshots of Chowon speaking about the manipulation. In one screenshot, the idol is seen reading a comment about how thanks to her group’s cover, her rank shot up from 80 to 13.
Thanks to the cover, Kang Hyewon was able to debut, Han Chowon’s 80 rank shot up to 13, Eri was able to shoot Korean variety shows and gain popularity, and Minami was able to become a full-fledged member of AKB 48 and gained a lot of Korean fans.
Chowon is then seen stating that it wasn’t 13 but that she had shot up to rank 6, which would have been more than enough for her to debut if it weren’t for the show’s producers manipulating her rank.
Please correct this. I went from rank 80 to 6. It’s very important to me.
Although the idol was clearly joking, fans couldn’t help but feel for Chowon. The singer
- “I remember she received hate from IZ ONE fans ㅠ.”
- “I voted for her. It makes me so mad to think about the manipulation.”
- “Honestly, everyone that was dropped due to Mnet’s manipulations was all my picks. I don’t understand those saying the manipulation was for the best, and I hope something similar happens to them.”
- “I voted for the first time for her. Makes me so mad.”
- “Oh no, she’s just a baby ㅠㅠ.”
- “Those that claim the manipulation was for the best and that it eliminated Japanese members have it wrong. Both victims were Korean.”
- “Honestly, her life could have been so different ㅜ. I don’t even watch TV that much, but I know IZ ONE members because they are on so often.”
It isn’t all sad news for Chowon, however. The idol made her official debut on June 10 with the group LIGHTSUM. Mnet’s Produce 48 has been marred in infamy, as it would later be revealed that eliminated members Lee Gaeun and Han Chowon were wrongfully eliminated by the show’s producers. For their roles in the show’s manipulation, producer Ahn Joon Young was fined ₩37.0 million KRW (about $26,300 USD) and sentenced to two years in prison, CP Kim Yong Beom was sentenced to 20 months in prison, and assistant producer Lee Mi Kyung was fined ₩10.0 million KRW (about $7,110 USD) respectively.