K-pop reality series draws criticism


Image courtesy Mnet

Boys Planets airs every week on Thursdays, being available on Mnet.

Khushila Dulal, Staff Writer

Boys Planet, a Korean idol survival show created to promote global participation in K-pop, creates a greater divide instead. 

Thousands of male K-pop trainees applied to participate in the show, and 98 contestants from various backgrounds were selected. Then the contestants were split into two groups: K-group and G-group. K-group features trainees solely from South Korea, while G-group includes all trainees from other countries. 

The show displays blatant favoritism at times. 

Krystian Wang, a Chinese trainee on the show, faced criticism for being seen not listening to the leader of his previous group – even though the leader spoke English and Korean and Wang does not. It painted him in a bad light, which reduced the number of votes he got from the audience. 

However, the bad editing of the show also extends to Korean trainees. Another trainee, Park Jihoo, revealed he was completely edited out of the first episode. He was eliminated in the voting. 

While it is understandable that a show cannot give a large amount of screen-time to every trainee since there are so many participants, it does not seem fair to edit someone out completely. It affects the amount of votes the trainee gets significantly. 

K-group was given advantages such as more screen-time. It makes it seem as though the producers of the show already have a final line-up in mind, and the trainees in the final line-up are the only ones really being shown on the show. 

Mnet, the entertainment company that created Boys Planet, was under investigation for vote manipulation for a similar show in 2019. According to ABC News, Ahn Joon-young and Kim Yong-bum, producers for the Produce 101 series, were arrested on Nov. 5. The producers later admitted to manipulating the rankings to all four seasons of the Produce 101 series. 

Because of the past investigation, there was already some stigma around whether or not this show would also be rigged. So having some trainees seeming to be favored over the others reflects badly on the show.

 Some viewers believe that regardless of which trainees make it to the final group, the results will be tainted.