'Kingdom': Mnet dubbed 'unfair' over big budget for just one K-pop group as channel cancels elimination on show

The channel will remove the elimination process so that all K-pop groups including Stray Kids, Ateez, The Boyz, iKon, SF9 and BTOB can reach the finals


                            'Kingdom': Mnet dubbed 'unfair' over big budget for just one K-pop group as channel cancels elimination on show
'Kingdom' lineup includes Stray Kids, SF9, iKon, BTOB, Ateez, The Boyz (Instagram/The Boyz Twitter)

South Korean music channel Mnet is currently under fire after fans slammed it over its show ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’. A news report has claimed that Mnet has set a limited budget for 'Kingdom' stage productions for six K-pop groups that are to compete head to head. But fans have accused that one K-pop team got special treatment even after the limited budget was introduced to them. 'Kingdom' will premiere on April 1. 

Prior to the much-anticipated start of the show, another report claimed that the channel will remove the elimination process so that all K-pop groups including Stray Kids, Ateez, The Boyz, iKon, SF9 and BTOB can reach the finals and all six teams get to participate in every round. The prequel of 'Kingdom' titled 'Road to Kingdom', which aired last year, had an elimination process in place which saw some of the fan-favorite teams get eliminated pretty early in the completion, such as Golden Child and TOO.

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Mnet slammed for being 'unfair'

According to an Ilgan Sports report, Mnet told the K-pop groups in advance that the maximum budget of stages can be ₩5M KRW (approx $4,417 USD). But the rumors started when the estimated cost of one group's stage performance and props exceeded the $4,417 limit as it had CJ ENM, the South Korean entertainment and mass media company backing them. Though the production team tried their best to shut down such accusations, the question of unfair treatment got so bad that the K-pop groups went directly to the channel to complain about the ongoing issue.

Only 3 groups notified about updated budget

Later, another follow-up report suggested that the channel decided to up the budget but a miscommunication resulted in only three teams getting notified of the new updates. 

Mnet's unfair treatment sparked outrage among fans as many called out the broadcasting channel for being unfair. A K-pop fan said, "i don’t even have any problems with the other groups, it’s just mnet i have problems with. if only they could just get their shit together, be fair, and not manipulate anything, then the show might actually be enjoyable. but they’re already messing up and it hasn’t even started." Another fan outraged, "All kdm group fandoms please dont forget that mnet is the real enemy here ! Fight with mnet not with each other :)" A user shared, "Mnet IS fvcked up even before the KD begins.......I would love to cancel the show but our boys worked their ass off for this one...."



 



 



 



 

No elimination for 'Kingdom'

'Kingdom: Legendary War' will also not have any elimination, a report from Joynews 24 has noted. Unlike 'Road to Kingdom', this year the completion will see all the six K-pop groups till the end of the show.

Mnet apologizes

Mnet has released an official statement regarding the allegations which reads, "As it is the first competition round, we set a budget to equally coordinate the six teams’ performances, but we apologize for not considering details that could’ve been defined like limits and possible situations. Following the first competition round, the production team is realizing the gravity of the issue regarding this aspect."

The statement added, "However, as we have to prioritize the artists’ creatives for the best possible performances, we have concerns and are cautious about presenting a specific guide regarding all aspects of stage set production. The “Kingdom” production team is working hard for the artists to be able to focus on their performances and create the best possible performances by having close conversations with the six teams and their agencies. We will do our best in order for future competition rounds to be carried out smoothly."

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