Father of former 'Produce 101' and 'Idol School' trainee Lee Haein speaks up about mistreatment by CJ ENM

Published 4 months ago | Updated 4 months ago

Amidst the growing controversy regarding alleged vote rigging in Mnet programs Idol School and the Produce 101 series, the father of an eliminated trainee, Lee Haein, has come forward to speak up about his daughter's experience.

Lee Haein appeared in Produce 101 in 2016 as a trainee under SS Entertainment. After being eliminated at 17th place, Haein left SS and later appeared in Idol School in 2017 and narrowly missed being able to debut in the final group fromis_9, finishing at 11th place.

Her father recently stated through an interview that he had suspicions of vote manipulation after Haein was eliminated from Idol School but hesitated to speak up due to the fear of it hindering her chances of debuting later. Once the allegations of vote manipulation in Produce X 101 were presented, he was encouraged to come forward.

He stated that when Haein appeared on Idol School, CJ ENM suggested that she sign a contract with their subsidiary company A (company name not disclosed). She signed due to the possibility of being dropped or disadvantaged during her audition. She was promised that this would ensure that eliminated trainees would still be able to debut. However, company A did not fulfill this promise and Haein was not able to debut. Further, due to being under this contract, she was not able to sign contracts with other companies where she might have been able to debut.

CJ ENM apologized in response to her father's revelation, saying it was regretful that they were not able to do enough to debut the eliminated trainees.

Through a post on Lee Haein Gallery, her father expressed the emotional turmoil his family is going through. "My heart hurts because of my daughter['s situation]. If evidence is revealed [of vote rigging], then that means my daughter has been taunted twice. It's not something humans would do, it's inhumane, it's really unfair."

Investigations into vote rigging in the Produce 101 series and Idol School are still under way.

Article updated to more accurately reflect reasons behind Lee Haein's decision to sign contract with company A.